Carrot-Top Pesto

Carrot-Top Pesto

Carrot-Top Pesto

Makes about 1 cup of pesto

The carrot family Umbelliferae consist of anise, caraway, celery, parsley, cilantro and coriander, cumin, dill, and fennel to name a few. If you think about it, these all go well together when prepared in a dish. Use “sister” herbs to add more depth to this pesto.

  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 cups carrot leaves, no stems
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts or almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup (packed) fresh “sister” herbs above such as cilantro, dill, or parsley or use basil
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil

Blanch the garlic in boiling water for one minute. Drain. Pulse garlic and nuts in a food processor or blender until a coarse paste forms. Add the carrot tops, herbs, Parmesan and process into a coarse purée. Add olive oil in a steady stream while machine is running until combined; season with salt and pepper.

  • Serve drizzled over roasted carrots
  • Serve as a dip
  • Drizzle over chevre and serve with baguette
  • Freeze in small containers
  • Toss with pasta
  • Serve over grilled fish or chicken

Dukkah, a crunchy condiment from Egypt.

Dukkah is delicious on so many things. Here I have it on roasted parsnips. There are more serving ideas below. Like any regional food, there are many versions. This just happens to be my favorite but don't be afraid to experiment! I also love smoked paprika or switching out the hazelnuts to pistachios.

  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts (skinned) or almonds
  • 1/4 cup black or white sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup coriander seeds                                                                                  
  • 2 Tbls. cumin seeds                                                                                          
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds                                                                                          
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric                                                                                                  
  • A hefty pinch of each dried oregano and red pepper flakes                        
  • Sea salt & fresh cracked pepper (Maldon salt is nice here)

Put all of the seeds into a small sauté pan on medium heat and shake the pan moving the seeds until they smell fragrant and are warm. Cool and pour them into a spice mill or food processor with the remaining ingredients and pulse until the nuts are medium-coarsely chopped. You don't want a paste. Season with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Stir. Store in a sealed container. Go to town!    

Serve on:

  • Scrambled eggs  
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Ricotta or fresh goat cheese drizzled with with olive oil, sprinkled with Dukkah
  • Sprinkle on hummus
  • Rub on fish or chicken before sautéing
  • Serve with pita and a bowl of olive oil to dip first helping the Dukkah to cling to the pita                                                                                                                       

*Adapted from D. Madison's Vegetable Literacy