If you are like me, then the first thing you want to do with those gorgeous, emerald green carrot tops is to chop them off and pop them into a vase. Honestly, who isn’t desperate for a little color during these cold and crispy winter months? But, may I offer an alternative to a lovely, carrot top tablescape?
When we received our first batch of carrots a few weeks back I remembered a recipe from Athena Calderone’s cookbook, COOK BEAUTIFUL, for “Carrot Top Pesto.” I figured it was worth a shot. I made a few changes to the original recipe (which can be found on her blog, Eyeswoon) using ingredients that I had on hand, several of which also came from our Rise and Shine farm box. The pesto was delicious and, as an added bonus, turned out to be a hit with the entire family. It’s become the new “it” accessory for the winter season, I’m enjoying it as much as my new cowboy boots. Both go with almost everything! We have enjoyed this pesto slathered all over pasta (also from the farm box) or try it as the top layer to your Saturday morning bagel with cream cheese. It makes for a rich and aromatic marinade for pork or spread across a pan fried steak as a last minute finish. And, it keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks, assuming you haven’t just gone at it with a spoon, or your finger.
Carrot Top Pesto – Farm Box Adaptation
1 bunch leafy carrot tops, roughly chopped
1 large handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 green onions, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 T pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil Salt and freshly cracked pepper
Except for the olive oil, combine all ingredients into a food processor. Pulse to chop and further combine. While the food processor is on, slowly add the olive oil, pausing to scrape down sides. I love garlic and ginger and lime so I added more than the recipe listed above. I also think it’s important to note the size of your carrot top bunch. While some may be more robust than others, all are created equally. You just may need a little more or a little less olive oil, salt and pepper. Have fun and enjoy!