Super tasty side dish or salad. Combo of roasted and raw veggies tossed with a delicious carrot top pesto.
Summer is here, and the living is easy…and good, and fun, and interesting, and invigorating. I’ve been loving spending so much time outdoors this past week, and keeping our meals simple. I can’t decide if my personality lends itself best to making the same few things (read: guacamole EVERY DAY!) on repeat all summer long or wanting something unique and different regularly and therefore experimenting in the kitchen most of the time. I guess I’m a hybrid, depending on mood.
I often take my summer cues from my local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share because there’s nothing better than using fresh, local and organic produce. Gorgeous carrots (with the tops in tack) and garlic scapes are stars of the season right now. Carrot Top Pesto was begging to be made and I easily found a myriad of uses for it, including these roasted veggies + carrot top pesto. Super easy and so tasty.
Carrot Top Pesto where have you been hiding?
If you’ve spent any time with me or attended one of my cooking workshops you’ll know that I hate to waste food. Although I do compost my veggie scraps, I’d much rather find good uses for them. What a shame to waste all of that good nutrition and taste!
Carrot greens contain significant amounts of Vitamins A & C, plus calcium, iron, fiber, vitamin K and antioxidants. Carrot greens are a rich source of chlorophyll which has the ability to prevent the growth and formation of tumors. Mixing them with a healthy fat like avocado makes the fat-soluble vitamins more absorbable. Some of the top benefits of eating carrot top pesto include a boost to immunity, bone density, eye health, blood pressure, digestion, detoxification, kidney function, circulation and more.
Have you ever used garlic scapes? You can find them in farmers markets or even at your local grocer. Scapes are the flower stalks that spring out of the ground while the bulb is still developing. They are high in fiber and contain good amounts of Vitamin C and A and antioxidants. Nutritional benefits include osteoarthritis protection, anti-cancer properties, re-oxygenation of blood, and protection of the liver and kidneys. Garlic scapes are considered a delicacy because they are only available in the early summer. Because they are milder in flavor than garlic cloves, they are perfect to be eaten raw. If you can’t find fresh scapes, substitute garlic cloves, but use half the amount so the garlic flavor won’t over-power the pesto.
Carrot top pesto is a great addition to many dishes. I like to use it to make a creamy potato salad, or drizzled on summer ripe tomatoes. It is also awesome mixed with some hummus and served with crudité, shmeared on crackers, tossed with chickpeas or used as a sauce for spiralized zucchini or spaghetti squash.
Roasted Veggies + Carrot Top Pesto
This recipe is so easy to make. Don’t let the complex flavors and textures fool you. You can easily whip up the pesto while the veggies are roasting. Or, the pesto can be made in advance, and with that in your fridge, or even a batch of this arugula pesto, you can substitute any roasted or raw veggies to make a beautiful summer salad. My CSA last week had carrots, radishes, garlic scapes and sugar snap peas….so there was my inspo for this particular medley, but I encourage you to come up with your own creation. Let me know in the comments what you create!
Carrot Top Pesto
- 6 large Basil leaves
- 1 bunch Carrot Tops (approx. 2 cups)
- 4 Garlic Scapes, roughly chopped
- ¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 small avocado + 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon Hemp seeds
- 2 Tablespoons Sunflower Seeds.
- 2-3 Tablespoon water
- 2 bunches carrots, sliced in half lengthwise if thick
- 1 bunch radishes, sliced in half lengthwise
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 2 cups baby greens (optional) I used baby kale
- 2 cups sugar snap peas
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- S+P to taste
Make the pesto
- Place hemp seeds and sunflower seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat and toast shaking pan until golden, about 3 minutes.
- Place all ingredients, including toasted seeds, except water in bowl of food processor and pulse until well combined. Add water slowly, until desired consistency.
- Preheat oven to 450 and line rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
- Arrange carrots and radishes in a single layer on prepared pan.
- Drizzle oil and spices evenly over veggies and roast for 30 minutes, until thickest carrots are tender when pierced with a fork.
- Toss greens (if using) with 1 Tablespoon pesto + 1 Tablespoon olive oil + 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and arrange on a platter.
- Trim sugar snap peas and cut roasted veggies into bit sized pieces. Toss with pesto, lemon juice and olive oil and then spoon on top of dressed greens.
- Veggies + pesto will stay good in fridge for up to 5 days, but greens will get soggy once dressed.
Amount Per Serving Calories 225Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 0mgSodium 455mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 6gSugar 4gProtein 5g
The nutrition calculations were done using online tools. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients you used. You are ultimately responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information is accurate, complete and useful.