Zero-Waste Pesto Recipe

50g basil on the turn (or whatever fresh fragile herbs you’ve got in the fridge i.e. coriander/parsley/rocket)
15g pine nuts (different nuts such as sunflower seeds/walnuts/pistachios/almonds/cashews are also great), toasted
35g Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese, grated
1/2 clove garlic, pureed
100ml Olive oil


Take your basil out of the fridge, take off those 3 leaves that look like they’ve seen the worst days and whack them in your cr*p bowl and put the rest of the herbs in the Magimix.
Add half the pine nuts, garlic and Parmesan to the Magimix and process the ingredients until blended.
With the Magimix running add the oil.

Roughly chop the remaining pine nuts and stir through the pesto.

Season to taste.

Stand back and look at how far you’ve come.

Feel a little bit smug that you’ve made something delicious out of something…potentially less delicious?

Substitute the basil with those slow roasted tomatoes you made earlier from those old ones rolling around your fridge, some rather limp rocket, or a handful of peas and the mint leftover from the Pimm’s you made when England had its annual dose of sunshine 2-weeks ago.

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We are BIG on no food waste at The Avenue. Our courses and classes not only aim to teach you about food and how to have fun cooking, but also how to reduce the amount of ‘rubbish’ you throw away whenever you cook.

At The Avenue, we pledged to have zero food waste coming out of the cookery school from Monday to Sunday.

We have shared below a few of our top tips for using up food you would otherwise chuck, and making the most of the bits you wouldn’t think to eat. Hold onto your hats, we’re about to blow you away…

While you are cooking put all your food waste into a bowl that we at The Avenue like to call our ‘Cr*p Bowl’. It’s a great way to train yourself to not throw things straight in the bin and also realising the volume of food that is actually left over when you’ve finished cooking – oh and saves you going back and forth to your bin #efficient 😉.

At the end of meal prep, chuck your trimmings from your cr*p bowl into a stock pot and cook that bad boy up to make some delicious homemade stock to keep in the fridge for future dishes!

Ignore the sell by date; use your own initiative to see if something shouldn’t be eaten. Even if you spy something you don’t like, like a bruise – cut it out! Chuck all the old veggies rolling around in the bottom of the fridge into a pot and make them into a tasty little soup or a spicy, roasted ratatouille that can also be used in a lasagne, as the base of a pizza, a pasta sauce, and many other dishes. The beauty of veg is that they pretty much always go together!

It doesn’t stop there…as we mentioned above, those sad looking tomatoes in the bottom of your fridge can be reinvented to become succulent slow roasted tomatoes on your salad, or limp, fragile herbs a delicious pesto! There’s really no end to the ways you can repurpose things at The Avenue.

Wouldn’t you be sad if someone left you at the back of the fridge because you were a bit boring and they’d already eaten you the day before? Yesterday’s dinner doesn’t have to be monotonous! Reinvent it into something magical with a bit of creativity.

When we make lunch at The Avenue, the first thing we do is look in the fridge. What do we have knocking about? Savoury dishes are given a new lease of life; Mashed Potato to top a Fish Pie, Rricassée becomes a Chicken Pie and Arancini Balls are made from remaining Risotto. Leftover puddings are transformed into something equally as tempting; Meringues become Eton Mess, Ice Cream pimped with Profiteroles, Fruit salad whizzed up into a healthy smoothie, the possibilities are endless…OK, maybe it’s not magic. We’re just really good cooks!

Our pet peeve at The Avenue is people getting pulled into these ‘special deals’ at the supermarket. ‘Buy One Get One Free’ might seem like a bargain, but more often than not the second packet dies before you have time to create something to eat (especially if you haven’t done a course at The Avenue!).

What will you do the next time you spot a tempting ‘3 for the price of 2’ deal in the supermarket? Stop, breathe…and walk on, feeling sorry for the person who’ll be cleaning rotten cherry tomatoes from their fridge in 10 days time. If only they’d read this insightful post!

We’re probably all guilty of committing some food waste faux pas. Apart from here at The Avenue, because we are perfect, so we don’t. We’re full of little tips and tricks that you’ll use every day. You’ll enter the cookery school an innocent food waster, and leave with the confidence to open the fridge and throw together dishes with food on the turn without recipes – how exciting!

It really is amazing how much food people waste without realising the strain on their purse and the effects on the environment! Buying something, taking it home and leaving it in your fridge to then throw away should be a criminal offence! So when you pick up something in the supermarket, think about the journey it’s taken to reach your plate; growing it, picking and packaging, transportation and distribution. Take a look at our Extended and evening classes, it’s money well spent and we promise you’ll never look at those onion skins in the same way again!