Like many others, I heard a crazy story on NPR’s Weekend Edition where Diane Morgan told about making carrot top pesto. Once again, it made me think about who decided what is food and what is waste and when should I question all these standards. The problem is that I’m just not that big a pesto fan, so that is where I left it. Then, I got my farmer’s box on Friday and it included a bunch of fresh carrots with really healthy green tops. I decided it was a sign and looked up the recipe on line. Another sign, I happened to have all the ingredients already. So, I decided to give it a try.
Carrot Top Pesto
1 c. lightly packed carrot leaves (stems removed) (about 6-8 big carrots)
6 T. olive oil
1 large garlic clove
¼ tsp. salt
3 T. pine nuts
¼ c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 T. lemon juice
Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Place nuts in the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Toast 5-10 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned. Now, add leaves, oil, garlic and salt in food processor or blender and pulse until finely chopped. Add pine nuts and pulse again. Add the cheese and pulse again.
So, I tried the pesto just like this (as Ms. Morgan meant it) and liked it but didn’t love it. I remembered that Oliva Bella makes a pesto I do love and their secret is to blend a whole lemon in the pesto. So, I added a T. of lemon juice and really liked the addition. I think you could also just add half a lemon, but I didn’t happen to have one.
I served my pesto on some Lotsa Pasta handmade saffron wide pasta noodles. But, you could also use the pesto as a dip with the actual carrots that went with your carrot leaves or other veggies. It is also good on bruschetta with goat cheese.
One year ago – Wilted Dandelion Greens