Last week at the local market carrots were back in full season – fresh, organic carrots with their green springy mops still attached. I’ve always said no thanks if the seller offers to chop the tops off, as they are a favourite treat with the guinea pig.
Until recently I didn’t even know they could be eaten, but now that I do carrot top pesto has become become weekly thing in our house. It tends to vary a little each week, as it uses up the ends of whatever is in the fridge. It makes a great topping for portabelo mushrooms too instead of cheese and breadcrumbs.
Most of the ingredients below were leftovers and the great thing about any pesto is that its OK to substitute almost anything! The only hard and fast rule with this is to STRIP THE STALKS. Use just the leaves, not the long stalk. The long stalk makes a stringy, fibrous pesto. I know, I’ve been there.
If you don’t have basil use coriander or pesto or rocket or all carrott leaves or whatever is lying around. Use lime instead of lemon if that’s what’s leftover. In the pesto pictured here I actually used the end of a jar of passata instead of sundried tomatoes, because that was what I had. I have to say though, there isn’t any comparison between the two versions, which is why I’m giving the sundried tomato version here.
I use an unmatchable gorgeous smoked sundried tomato or if that’s not to hand some chipotle or smoked paprika is nearly as good.
Virtually any nut will work as well. The creamy ones like walnut, pine nut, hazelnut are better than the harder nuts like brazil or almond. I’ve used nut butter in the same quantity when that’s what was there. Leftovers recipies are all about sticking to ratios and regular tasting. Yum.
Eat with salad, drizzled on pizza, on the aforementioned mushrooms, anywhere you would a regular pesto. This kept fresh in the fridge for the week, there was none left to test it for a longer time.
- 1 well packed cup of stripped carrott tops (that’s about a bunch worth)
- 1/2 cup basil or other greens
- 1/3 cup oil from the sundried tomatoes or use olive oil
- 4 smoked large sundried tomatoes (or use regular with some smoked paprika and/or chipotle)
- 1 clove garlic
- Up to 1/4 cup water if needed (or more olive oil if preferred)
- Flesh and juice from a wedge of lemon
- Salt and pepper
- Strip the leaves from the long carrots stalks.
- Add all the ingredients except the water into a food processor.
- Pulse until well blended.
- Add water drop by drop until a good consistency is achieved.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.