To blanch the carrot tops: remove thick stem pieces. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water in it. Once boiling, ad the carrot tops to the pot. Stir occasionally, cooking for about 3 minutes or until bright green and tender. Immediately remove from the pot, drain the hot water, and add the carrot tops to the ice cube bowl to stop the cooking process.
Drain the carrot tops, wring out the excess liquid, and spread them on a plate to dry while you do the remaining recipe prep.
Add all of the ingredients from garlic through walnuts (if using) to the food processor. Blend until a chunky paste forms with small bits of carrot tops. depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to stop frequently to scrape down the sides. Add the olive oil a tablespoon at a time until combined. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice if desired.
To use as a pasta sauce, cook your pasta in salted water according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot. Add the reserved cooking water and carrot top pesto, stir to combine, and cook over low heat until warmed. Serve right away.
Otherwise, once cooled to room temperature, store in the fridge in an airtight container for several days. The bright green color may fade to a slightly darker green, and this is totally normal.
FREEZING: Throw the mint in to blanch with the carrot tops if you plan to freeze this carrot top pesto (you'll need to retrieve it from the water a little sooner). After doing so, it freezes well.
OTHER NUTS/SEEDS: This carrot top pesto is also fabulous wiht toasted almonds, pumpkin seeds, or pine nuts.
OTHER HERBS: You can use basil or other 'fruity' herb instead of the mint. Or, omit the additional nerbs and add slightly more garlic and lemon zest.
CHEESE: Yes, traditional pesto often has Parmesan cheese in it, but this carrot top version really shines without it. That said, if you are carving a cheesy flavor feel free to add some.
View line-by-line Nutrition Insights™: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.
|Serving Size: 1 Serving (150g)|
|Recipe Makes: 1 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 329 (84%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 36.6g||49 %|
|Saturated Fat 3.9g||20 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 11g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 20.1g|
|Cholesterol 0mg||0 %|
|Sodium 92.7mg||3 %|
|Potassium 485.8mg||13 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 15.4g||5 %|
|Dietary Fiber 7.2g||29 %|
|Sugars, other 8.2g|
|Protein 8.4g||12 %|
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Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.
Calories per serving: 393
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