Main Meals Recipes

Carrot Top Pesto

Late spring, or early summer means thinning the carrots out at the allotment so we can grow some nice big carrots ready for long winter days. I always get sad at being forced to choose which carrots will go on to grow, sometimes to the point where I leave too many baby carrots in the soil.

I always try to make sure I put the tiny carrots to good use. Sometimes I simply wash them and eat them there and then. Nothing like a simple snack to keep me going! However, I have now come to terms with this cruel to be kind nature, and make sure nothing is waste.

Carrot top pesto with baby carrots is my answer to this. The young and tender leaves make the most delicious and earthy pesto which is delicious when served simple through hot pasta. The pesto is so simple to make, and if you have too many carrot tops you can always freeze the pesto for use at a later date.

Nutritionally speaking there has been very little research conducted on carrot leaves. One study commented on how carrot leaves can be used to fortify chicken’s diets to make the yolks of the eggs they lay more orange in colour due to the carotenoids present in the leaves! Something I have not tested my chickens on yet!

Ingredients

  • A large bunch of carrot tops (about 100g), roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch of basil (30g), roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 40g pine nuts, toasted
  • 45g parmesan cheese, grated

Method

  • Place the carrot tops, basil, olive oil and garlic into a food processor and blend till smooth.
  • Add the pine nuts and parmesan and blend to the consistency desired – I prefer to have some unblended pine nuts in my pesto.
  • Hey pesto! You’re done!

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