Carrot-Top Pesto

In just a few short weeks, I have to go back to work. Ahhh saying it out loud...or technically, typing it loud, makes it all the more real...and makes me want to dig my heels into the rug and say, "I won't go! Say it ain't so!!! Don't make me do it!!!" Part of me wants to shout all those things. But there's the other part that also recognizes what an amazing blessing it is has been to have an entire two months completely work-free to chase my passions, do a little dreaming, and learn what it means to relax (I haven't been very good at that last part). 

This summer, I've had more time to explore this whole food blogging thing, which has been a blast and a learning experience (taking pretty pictures is no cake walk). It's meant creating beautiful and tasty dishes, as well as beautiful messes. It's meant countless opportunities to learn a little more patience, a little more determination. To continue to tweek recipes, to write in the margins of cookbooks, and to try, try again. And I've loved every minute of it.

A summer off from work has also meant that I've had time to (attempt) to train our golden doodle puppy, time to read the ever growing stack of New Yorkers in our house, and time to watch marathon sessions of Gilmore Girls. Yup, it's been pretty great!

This week, I leave you with this tasty spin on the classic basil pesto. We got these cute little carrots in our farm share last week and I felt so wasteful just snipping and tossing the carrot tops. So, why not throw them in a pesto? Since the tops are a little bitter, they still need some love from a bit of basil to even out the flavors. 

Carrot-Top Pesto with Roasted Carrots
Adapted from Bon Appetit, makes 8 servings (about 1/2 c of pesto)

For the roasted carrots:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Trim the carrot tops, leaving a bit of stem attached. Measure out 2 cups carrot tops and set aside for the pesto.

Place carrots on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing once or twice, until carrots are golden brown and tender, 25-35 minutes. Allow carrots to cool.

For the pesto:
In a food processor, combine garlic, pine nuts, carrot tops, basil, and parmesan cheese. Process until a coarse purée forms. Slowly add olive oil and pulse until combined; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve carrots with pesto.


For the roasted carrots:
3 lbs small carrots
about 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the pesto:
2 c carrot tops
1/2 c fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp pine nuts
1/4 c grated parmesan
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper