Recipe - Carrot Top Greens Pesto

After buying things at the Garden Grove Farmers' Market and being determined to cook everything I purchased, I realized that the carrots I had gotten still had their greens on top. "Neato," thought I until I realized I had never really worked with them before. So what to do? As luck would have it, my mom was in the kitchen that day I was contemplating the greens, and she was about to stir-fry a bunch of vegetables with pasta because she didn't know what else to do. My mom's a great cook but anything that is out of the Asian cuisine escapes her prowess, so I said I'd handle the pasta. One look around the kitchen set my eyes on the walnuts I had gotten a little while back. Carrot top greens pesto it was! I discovered that the greens themselves have got quite a raw spiciness to them but heating/wilting them a bit will cut that taste down.

Step 1: Ingredients (yields approximately 1 cup)
  • garlic salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 bunch carrot top greens, no stems
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Step 2: Preparing the ingredients
Remove the carrot top greens from the carrots. I would recommend not including the stems in your recipe because they ended up being quite stringy and hard to eat. Chop it up for easier usage in your food processor later. I had to do two batches. I would've used the traditional mortar and pestle if I weren't pressed for time. Mince the garlic and chop the walnuts (toasting the walnuts is optional)

Step 3: Finishing
I put the greens in first to make sure they were well-chopped. Then I added the garlic and walnuts with a drizzle of the olive oil. It helps lubricate the whole process as well. As I said, I did this all in two batches so it's sort of a repeating process depending on how big your processor is. The garlic salt was to taste. I then tossed it with pasta for a delicious and healthy-tasting meal (topped with carmelized red onions).