Carrot Top Pesto
Carrot top pesto is another example of the Culinary Medicine Zero Waste Kitchen. Here we use the often discarded tops of fresh, organic carrots.
The consumption of carrots goes back thousands of years. However, for most of that time the part of the carrot that was eaten were the tops. The ancestor of the carrot, the wild carrot, had a small white root which was used as a medicine. The leaves were consumed as a food and according to the ancient historians Pliny and Dioscorides, carrots were aphrodisiacs. The common orange carrot as we know it, was developed by the Dutch in the 16th century.
Like the roots they are attached to, carrot tops, or carrot greens are rich in vitamin A and high in potassium. Unlike the roots, the tops are high in chlorophyll which has health benefits similar to green tea. Carrot tops also contain six times the vitamin C found in the roots.
• 1 bunch of carrot tops; trimmed, blanched, cooled, and dried
• 2 Tbs Pine Nuts; toasted
• 2 Tbs Parmigiano-Reggiano; grated
• 2 Garlic cloves
• 1 Tbs lemon juice
• Olive oil (good quality EVOO)
Trim the woody, more fibrous, and larger stems from the leaves. These can be reserved for other uses like stocks. Blanch the tender, feathery leaves. Blend all ingredients except olive oil in food processor. Drizzle in olive oil until desired consistency reached (you can also thin with water). Season with salt and pepper.