It always seemed such a waste to me to discard (compost) the carrot greens after harvesting my carrots. There had to be a use for them, I just didn’t know what. Time to turn to my favorite book about root vegetables, Roots by Diane Morgan. And there it was, a recipe for Carrot Top Pesto! It seemed like the perfect combination, my love of pesto and my disdain for wasting anything I grow. I just had to try it. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to have carrot bouquets on my counter!
How did it turn out? Let’s just say that Cam had a double helping! Carrot top pesto will become the standard dinner on carrot harvest days. It tasted very much like basil pesto, but with carrot overtones and a nice, sharp bite.
Carrot Top Pesto
slightly adapted from Roots by Diane Morgan
1 cup lightly packed carrot leaves (stems removed) (from the garden)
6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves
1/4 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted (see my note below)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
My note – Toasting pine nuts – Heat a small non-stick skillet over high heat. Toss the pine nuts in the dry skillet and keep stirring/swirling for about 1 to 1.5 minutes. Remove from heat. Be careful not to burn the pine nuts.
In a food processor, combine the carrot leaves, garlic, salt, pepper and cheese.
Process until finely minced. Add in the oil and process until just combined.
Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days. Enjoy!
Makes about 2/3 cup.