The humble carrot top. Swaying the in the breeze as its root plunges deeper into the earth. Its wispy green leaves are hoping that you’ll not just cut them off and compost them (or worse, throw them away). If they could talk, they would scream from their little spot in the ground, “hey you, you up there! Won’t you allow me to grace your kitchen?!”
Okay, so I got a little fictional on you there. You may think it’s silly, but as I was laying those tops out just right for a photo, I realized just how much of them there was. Obviously if I was taking the photo, I already knew I’d be using those tops for something, but it was then that I realized just how much food they could give us.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to make with those carrot tops. I thought I could throw them in a soup, you can throw anything in a soup. It’s still too hot for soup here though (boo!). Naturally, since it’s technically fall here my mind went to pumpkins. Oh, the beloved fall time treat, the pumpkin.
What can someone with two ingredients, pumpkin seeds and carrot tops, that are often thrown out and never given any chance to showcase their flavors make?
For some crazy reason my mind went to pesto. Not because I particularly like pesto, I really can’t tell you why my brain went there. But, it went there.
So, instead of chopping those carrot tops off your farm fresh carrots and pitching ’em like everyone says, keep those fluffy green babies! If you’re not planning on making this right away, you should wrap them in a cloth and place in your crisper. They won’t keep fresh but many 3-4 days though, so make this pesto, pronto!
The pepitas I used came from the store, but if you are carving pumpkins soon you can dry the seeds out. Not sure how you can shell them easily, but you’ll want shelled pumpkin seeds here.
2 cups carrot tops, packed
1/3 cup pepitas (or do half pepitas, half walnuts)
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1/4 cup cheese, grated (white cheddar, parmesan..not the dry flaky stuff!)
1/2 cup pure olive oil
2 garlic cloves
salt and pepper, to taste
Toast pepitas by adding to skillet over medium-low heat. Place coconut oil over and stir. Toast only until fragrant. Add pepitas (and walnuts if using) and carrot tops to food processor. Process for about 30 seconds. Add cheese and garlic, again process for about 30 seconds. Scrap down sides as necessary.
While processing, slowly add olive oil, scraping down sides as needed. Process until smooth. Add salt and pepper and process to mix well.
This pesto is great with pasta (Chicken Pesto / Pasta?). I also love homemade pizza with pesto sauce in place of red sauce. Great with fish or on crackers with cheese. This is a truly versatile recipe. Let me know how you use it!