Carrot Top Greens and Almond Pesto
Try something different for your pesto this time, and make use of those lovely carrot tops you’ve been wondering what to do with. They are super nutritious, very tasty and pair perfectly with toasted almonds.
I’ve recently started shopping for veg at a little farm near where I live. It’s a very cute place, with cows, sheep and goats, and lots of delicious vegetables grown organically. That means you get what’s in season, and what is native to the area. No fancy imported mangoes (which are rarely any good anyway), no avocados (not quite warm enough in this part of the country, although Crete has its own avos now), no weird and wonderful fruit and veg like those you see on supermarket shelves. But, whatever is grown there, is way way way superior to anything on the aforementioned shelves. For example courgettes (zucchini). You cannot compare the taste of the small and wonky looking courgettes from the farm, to the taste of the big pasty looking things you get elsewhere. And don’t even get me started on the tomatoes. The only problem is that some things, like strawberries, are around for about two minutes and then you blink and they’re gone. Either because you arrived late and whatever was picked that morning has disappeared, or because the season lasts for about a week since it’s either too cold or too hot here for strawberries. Actually this might happen only with the strawberries. I didn’t get to enjoy enough strawberries this year. I’m annoyed with that.
Anyway, let’s move on from the strawberries. Back to the carrot tops. The carrots I get from the farm include their greens. This isn’t very common in Greece; usually you get just the carrot roots. The exact opposite of beets, which are usually sold whole here (with their greens) and you rarely find the roots by themselves. I really really hate throwing things like that away. So when I found myself with a bunch of carrot tops, I thought I’d try making pesto with them. I didn’t have any cheese, so I just used almonds, olive oil and lemon. It turned out delicious! As with all types of pesto you need a food processor (unless you fancy a pestle and mortar workout) and some patience till it all gets nice and smoothly blended.
I enjoyed this with spaghetti, and you can also freeze leftovers in an ice cube tray so you have individual portions for later. For me one portion is about two pesto cubes. I also like to throw a cube into sauces, soups or stews, as it gives lots of flavour. These quantities yield just over a 400ml jar of pesto.
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