In the spirit of using parts of plants that normally get thrown out, this pesto is made from carrot-top greens. Coming home from the farmer’s market with a bunch of carrots, I was wondering if the greens were edible. Turns out they are, and the most likely thing to do with them is make a pesto.
Yumi actually made this pesto, and I think the recipe is a bastardized version of something she found on a vegan site. It’s pretty good, but not as good as regular pesto. I think it would have turned out even better if the greens had been chopped with an immersion blender, instead of our food processor because the pesto seemed a little “grassy” in texture. And maybe some pine nuts wouldn’t hurt. I guess adding some Parmesan would be good, too. Hard to say.
Either way, give it a try. It makes for a good topping for crackers, and I suppose you could use it with pasta, too.
What you’ll need:
- Carrot tops from a large bunch of carrots
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2T lemon juice
- 0.25 cups mint leaves
- 4 scallions, green part only, medium chopped
- 0.5 cups walnuts or cashews (or even pine nuts!!)
- 3T extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
What to do:
Remove the thickest pieces of stem and blanch the carrot tops in boiling water for 3 minutes. Immediately drain the hot water and plunge the tops into an ice water bath.
After they’ve cooled, drain the greens and wring out the excess water. At this point, they’ll look like blanched, shredded spinach—limp, green and kind of disgusting.
Put the tops, garlic, lemon juice, mint and nuts into a food processor and chop the hell out of these ingredients until they’re as fine a paste as possible.
Gradually add the olive oil—if you can while processor is running is best—until well blended.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.