Low Carbon Living: Root Vegetable Rösti with Parsley Pesto Hummous

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Using calculations being developed for Laura’s Larder, we’ve created a low-carbon Christmas feast. Over the next three weeks we’ll be posting a starter (below), main course and dessert for you to enjoy.

Root Vegetable Rösti

Serves 8 as a starter


2 large potatoes
2 parsnips
2 small onions
1 sweet potato
2 beetroot (ours were chioggia, a beetroot variation with a very distinctive striped pattern)
150g gram (chickpea) flour
2 tbsp cumin seeds
½ tsp salt
Oil for frying


Finely grate the potato and onion, sprinkle over the salt and mix well. Place in a sieve or colander and leave the water to drain whilst you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Grate the sweet potato, beetroot and parsnip. Add the potato and onion and mix well. Gradually add in the flour bit by bit until handfuls of mixture stick together.

Over a low heat gently warm the cumin seeds in a frying pan. After a few minutes add them to the root vegetables and mix well. Pour a generous amount of oil into the frying pan and turn up to a medium heat. Form small patties from the rösti mix, making sure that the mixture is tightly clumped together. Once the oil is hot, place the patties in the frying pan and flatten using a spatula. Once the underside has browned nicely flip them over. Make sure the hob isn’t too hot as they are easy to burn.

When both sides of the rösti are brown, remove them from the frying pan and place on a plate covered in kitchen paper to remove the excess oil. Transfer them to the oven to keep them warm as you make the rest.

Parsley Pesto Hummous


400g tin of chickpeas
4 tbsp tahini
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Lemon juice, to taste
Olive oil, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
A handful of chopped parsley
1 tbsp pesto



In a bowl combine the chickpeas, tahini, garlic and a little bit of the chickpea water. Blend the mixture together until you have a thick paste. Gradually add the olive oil and lemon juice until you have a smooth mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the hummous into a bowl and drizzle over the pesto. Finish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

Low-Carbon Notes

Greenhouse gas emissions of the starter
  • The scale of this bar chart is very small. These dishes have been designed to have very low greenhouse gas emissions scores

  • All of the emissions values used are based on commercially grown produce. This means growing your own or buying locally produced ingredients could reduce emissions further still
  • High emitters:

    • Gram for gram we used the same amount of sweet potato and parsnip, but the emissions from sweet potato are almost 2 1/2 times higher.
    • Chickpeas contribute the most to the emission score of this dish. They are actually responsible for slightly lower emissions than sweet potatoes (per kilogram produced) but we are using more of them.
    • Of all the ingredients used for our starter, oil has one of the highest emission scores per kilogram. This means that the less oil you can use to make the rösti the better – using less oil makes them healthier too!