Eat Good Food

Carrot Top Pesto Recipe

Carrot top pesto is an inventive way to use every part of the vegetable. The tender greens reflect the flavor of the carrot itself. This pesto can be served as a dip with crudite or as a topping to bruschetta that has been smeared with fresh goat cheese. It’s also perfect simply tossed with pasta.

Carrot Top Pesto
Makes about 2/3 cup

1 cup lightly packed carrot leaves (stems removed)
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (see below)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano

To toast the nuts

Toasting pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, and pumpkin seeds brings out their flavor. Spread the nuts or seeds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, place in a preheated 350-degree oven and toast until fragrant and lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the nut or seed.

To make the pesto

The word “pesto” comes from the Italian verb pestare, which means to crush or mash. Staying true to tradition, this recipe calls for using a mortar and pestle to crush and mash the ingredients.

Begin by combining the garlic and sea salt in the mortar, and work the garlic into a paste with the pestle.

Next add the carrot leaves, crushing the leaves against the side of the mortar until they are reduced to little bits before adding the next handful. No need to bash the leaves, simply work the pestle in a circular motion, grinding the leaves down.

Once all the carrot leaves have been crushed and the green juice has stained the side of the mortar, it’s time to add the pine nuts. Smash individual nuts under the pestle until they yield into a paste. Next, drizzle in the olive oil, working it in with a wooden spoon

Recipe adapted from Roots: The Definitive Compendium with More Than 225 Recipes by Diane Morgan.

Eat Good Food

Carrot and Cilantro Salad

This recipe is inspired by a simple carrot salad served at Buvette Gastrotheque in New York. A delectable pile of julienned carrots laced with coriander, cilantro, and lemon, and topped with pistachios, this bistro salad is beautiful and delicious.

Carrot and Cilantro Salad
Serves 4

1/4 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 garlic clove, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt
1 lb. carrots, peeled and julienned (or coarsely grated)
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, and flowers for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the pistachios on a small baking sheet and toast for 5 to 7 minutes, tossing frequently to prevent them from burning. Set aside and allow to cool completely; chop coarsely.

Toast the coriander seeds in a dry skillet, tossing frequently, until fragrant. Remove immediately from the heat.

Using a mortar and pestle, lightly crush coriander seeds, then add chopped garlic and mash to a paste.

In a small bowl (or your mortar and pestle), whisk together the garlic and coriander seeds, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking vigorously, until emulsified. Season with salt to taste.

Toss the julienned carrot with the dressing and allow the mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes.

Toss with the chopped pistachios and fresh cilantro leaves. Garnish with cilantro flowers before serving.

For more recipes from Buvette Gastrotheque owner/chef Jody Williams, we recommend the cookbook Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food.