October 22, 2017

Carrot Top and Basil Pesto

Carrot Top and Basil Pesto

Janine Pineo Photo | Carrot Top and Basil Pesto

Three of the main ingredients for the pesto are (from top) columnar basil, carrot tops and garlic scapes.

Janine Pineo Photo | Three of the main ingredients for the pesto are (from top) columnar basil, carrot tops and garlic scapes.

This may be one of the more vague recipes ever written. The original came from Ryan at Parker Family Farm. He is at the Hampden Farmers Market every Friday and had the recipe attached to the carrots.

His recipe was a bit more precise because he is selling by the pound or bunch. If you are picking this out of your own garden, the amount will vary.

The good news is that pesto is a very forgiving thing to make. Plus, you have the pictures to get an idea how much I used.

Carrot Top and Basil Pesto

A fistful of the leafy green tops from young carrots
A fistful of basil
4 garlic scapes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons pine nuts, salted cashews (no salt if using these) or walnuts

A food processor whips pesto up in a matter of moments.

Janine Pineo Photo | A food processor whips pesto up in a matter of moments.

Remove the leaves from the stems of the basil and place in food processor. Remove the tops from the carrots and place the greens in with the basil.

Chop the garlic scapes coarsely and add to taste.

Add all the other ingredients and process until smooth.  (Some may like it with some small chunks, which is perfectly fine.)

This can be used wherever you would use pesto: on pasta, chicken, atop bread, in sandwiches.

According to the recipe from Ryan, carrot tops are loaded with nutrients that other greens lack, so it will give you a nice boost of nutrition. The tops of young carrots are best because they lose their sweetness later in the summer.

– Janine Pineo