Carrot Top Pesto
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
As many of you know, I am really enjoying my vegetable garden this year. The work my husband and I have put into is well worth it now that we are able to actually eat all the beautiful roots, leaves and fruit that we have planted with our own hands. As things started to really grow and become plentiful, I noticed there were so many greens that may not always be used in cooking but rather, thrown in the compost bin for next years soil. One of those things is carrot tops, or leaves. This wasn't the first time I thought of this, I really do hate to waste any locally grown food, I actually tried this pesto for the first time last fall after buying carrots from a local farmer. I noticed the lady selling the carrots to me was going to cut the tops off before placing them in my reusable bag, but I asked her to leave them on so I could experiment with them. This is what I came up with, a pesto that is lovely used on warm or cold pasta, served on top of hummus, or on crackers with a little goat cheese sprinkled on top. There are so many possibilities not only for this pesto, but so many other things growing in your garden, or at the local farmers market, that you may not know is actually a beautiful treat full of nutrition. Not to mention, guys, THIS IS FREE FOOD. I wasn't charged extra for taking the carrot greens with me last year at the farmers market, and I will be getting so much more out of my garden this year saving me $$$ at the grocery store. So when in doubt,look to trusty google and type "are_____leaves edible?" and you will be surprised by what you may learn. I for one and very happy to have this unique pesto in my life and plan to freeze plenty for my family to enjoy this winter. Happy eating friends!
|Try adding this pesto to my hummus recipe here on the blog!|
Makes 1 1/2 cups pesto.
- 2 cups carrot tops, large stems removed
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- 2 heaping tbsp nutritional yeast
- 3 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup plant based oil, such as olive or avocado
- 6 fresh basil leaves
- 2 sprigs parsley
- 2 cups "other" greens such as spinach, kale, beet leaves, radish leaves (my personal favorite)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- grated parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
- Remove greens from the root, and remove any large stems. Bring a medium pot half full with water to a boil, turn off heat and add the greens. Allow to wilt in the water. Remove and strain off excess water.
- In a food processor, add blanched greens and all other ingredients and blend until all ingredients are combined and you can see a slightly smooth but still chunky texture (like a typical hummus). Stir into hot pasta or refrigerate for later use. Lasts up to a week in the fridge or you can freeze to preserve for winter months. Enjoy!