No better way to ring in the New Year and make the most of the last few carrots in the garden than with carrot-top pesto! Inspired by a recipe in my newly gifted Roots cookbook by Diane Morgan, but of course I couldn’t help tinkering with it a fair amount and not bothering to measure most things. The carrot tops were a bit course in texture, but nothing that plenty of oil and the magic of chèvre couldn’t solve. Equally great over spaghetti squash or grated carrots. If you have plenty of time to spare, peeling the carrots into wide ribbons can make for a striking presentation. To keep the carrot ribbons from drying up or browning before serving, they can then be blanched or placed in cold water, though in my experience, some of the nutrients and flavor are lost.
In any case, well worth a little extra time and effort to enjoy such a delicious winter pesto. And to think of all the carrot tops I’ve thrown away for so many years, thinking they were poisonous…
Carrot Top Pesto
Carrot leaves reserved from a bunch of carrots, rinsed and pulled from the larger stems
A few leaves fresh sorrel (optional)
3 garlic cloves, or to taste
A half cup or so of chopped walnuts
1/2 cup or so olive oil
A few spoonfuls of chèvre
Salt, to taste
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor, adjusting as necessary for desired flavor and consistency. Yum!