One of my favourite things about the neighbourhood we live in here in Brisbane, is the farmers market that sits right on our doorstep on Saturday mornings. When living in London, the desire to buy the weekly shop at a market was greatly outweighed by the necessary 30+ min journey just to get to one. Here however, between 6am to 2pm each week I can walk 200m from our building to Davies Park, grab an excellent coffee (I mean, the coffee is excellent everywhere here) and get my fruit, veggies, meat, fish and eggs all for the equivalent of around £50. To put that into perspective, it works out to about half of what I was spending per week back in Blighty.
So as you may have guessed it, this delightful side dish came about as a result of a recent market haul. I grabbed a beautiful bunch of carrots - tops and all - with the intent of simply roasting them. But looking at those tops I thought there’s got to be a way of utilising them, instead of them going to waste. A fiend for pesto shall always be just that, and I quickly blitzed those leafy greens up together with the necessary ingredients that I seem to always have on hand (pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and of course parmesan) while those multicoloured carrots were roasting to sweet perfection.
This recipe makes enough pesto to use another time - try stirring whatever you have left through pasta, topped on eggs or as a base for your next sandwich.
Roasted Carrots + Carrot Top Pesto
Serves 4 as a side dish
1 large bunch of carrots with tops
2 tablespoons pine nuts
10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
50g parmesan, grated
2 garlic cloves
Preheat oven to 200c (180c FAN)
Remove the tops from the carrots and place in an roasting dish. Drizzle with two tablespoons of olive oil, and season generously with salt
Roast in the centre of an oven for 25-30 minutes or until tender
While the carrots are roasting, get to work on the pesto. In a blender add the carrot tops, garlic cloves, pine nuts, a pinch of salt and the remaining 8 tablespoons olive oil and blitz until combined.
Transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the grated parmesan. Add more salt as needed, and an extra glug of olive oil if you see fit.
Once the carrots are roasted, serve with a few dollops of pesto.