It’s that wonderful time of the year, where friends and family get together and celebrate each other over good food and drink. I am excited to share some of my favorite recipes I created for a Friendsgiving dinner I hosted last week for some creative friends and food bloggers. The first recipe I am sharing is for my new favorite carrot top pesto.
This recipe has been my new go to pesto. It uses the green fluffy fronds of the carrots and not the orange bit at all. You can even buy carrots in the supermarket that still have their fronds, so look out for those and use every last bit of that carrot.
Carrot fronds are full of nutrients and have a sweet flavor, not at all bitter. They make a great pesto with an addiction of a few more ingredients to bring out the flavor.
FOR THE CARROTS
2 bunches of rainbow or orange Dutch carrots, tops trimmed (about 16-20)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp sea salt flakes
1½ tsp hot honey (or regular honey)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
FOR THE PESTO
carrot top greens from 2 carrot tops (remove stems)
1 handful of fresh basil, no stems
3 large garlic cloves
juice of ½ small lemon
1 tbsp hazelnuts, toasted
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic salt from Jacobson salt or regular sea salt flakes
olive oil (leaving this up to you, I used about ½ cup) from Red Ridge Farms
Wash carrots thoroughly. In a large bowl, combine carrots with olive oil, salt, honey and balsamic. Mix well. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed baking tray with baking paper. Place carrots on prepared tray. Bake in pre-heated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes until carrots are just tender and starting to brown. Remove from oven.
Wash the carrot greens thoroughly. Many bunches often have residual dirt and sandy particles. I give my greens a quick soak in a large pot filled with cold water and a tablespoon of white vinegar. I then rinse them several times to remove the grime. This is essential because if the grime isn’t removed, your pesto will be gritty.
Place washed carrot greens and all other pesto ingredients in a food processor and process to a smooth consistency.
To serve, toss the carrots with pesto and place on a large plate. Top with chopped hazelnuts, optional. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy!
To preserve the rest of your pesto, add it to a mason jar and tightly close the lid. It will keep for about two weeks, but mine gets used up before that. I love to put it on toast with avocado and egg. You can also toss in a spoonful in a dressing to add some great pesto flavor.
Looking forward to sharing more recipes for your holiday dinners.
Enjoy and Bon Appetité!