To Top It Off

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When  fluffy green carrot tops come with my carrots, I know exactly what to do, and I look forward to adding them to my lunches.  I found some easy ways to celebrate the bitter carrot top flavor. Splitting every bunch I get into thirds, I make pesto, a week’s worth of pre-rinsed salad greens and meal garnishes, and broth. With all their potassium, vitamins, and minerals, carrot tops are a treasure too good to waste.

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Carrot Top, Cashew, and Pistachio Pesto:

  • 1/3 of a bunch of carrot tops, rinsed and dried in a salad spinner
  • 1 handful of unsalted, raw cashews
  • 1 handful of roasted pistachios
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • 2-3 tbs. olive oil

Directions:

  1. Pull the carrot top leaves off the stems, putting them in a pile on a cutting board.
  2. Place the nuts and garlic on the cutting board next to the carrot top leaves.
  3. Using a large knife, chop the carrot tops, nuts, and garlic until all the ingredients resemble a coarse meal. Scoop that mixture into a glass container or tupperware.
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the chopped mixture, and pour in the olive olive oil. Stir the ingredients until everything looks slightly wet. Note: avoid making your mixture sopping wet with oil pooling in the bottom of the container. It won’t stay as fresh and light.
  5. Put the lid on the container, and tuck it into the fridge. It will keep for 2-3 days. When you are ready to use the pesto, scoop some into a bowl and mix in some fresh squeezed lemon juice and olive oil to freshen it up.

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How to Use this in Your Lunch:

  • Salad Dressing: mix together 1-2 tablespoons of pesto, a drizzling of olive oil, and a tablespoon of lemon juice or white balsamic vinegar.
  • Topping: sprinkle on roasted vegetables, hummus, and rice.
  • Garnish: sprinkle on soups, salads, and sides for a pop of color.
  • Wraps: pack a tortilla, cheese, roasted vegetables, and a scoop of this pesto. Roll it all up together!
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