Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto

Roasted carrots and carrot top pesto

FALL is in the air!

The leaves are once again representing our alma mater with pure maroons and golds — Go Gophers!

Fall signals the time for pumpkins, using the oven again (Yay!) and enjoying the cool air with a hot cup of tea.  The best way to bring in the new season is to change with it. Summer harvests are slowing and fall foods are stepping into the picture. Bring on the fall produce! Carrots, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, acorn squash, apples, pears, kale, pumpkin and pomegranate – oh my!

Rainbow Carrots

Let’s hone in on Bugs Bunny’s favorite pastime, outwitting Elmer Fudd eating carrots, by introducing our delicious recipe – roasted carrots with a carrot-topped pesto.

Roasted Carrots

Most of us know that carrots are a great source of vitamin A, which helps with vision. Did you know they are also a rich source of antioxidants? Each carrot color variety supplies us with a different antioxidant, which help us stay healthy! Antioxidants are molecules in our food — especially prominent in fruits and vegetables — that prohibit oxidation of molecules in the body. Oxidized molecules, also known as free radicals, are associated with many illnesses and diseases. Be like Bugs, eat more carrots!

Roasted carrots and carrot top pesto

Food Waste…

ONE-THIRD of all food produced for human consumption in the world today is wasted, according to the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology. That’s a lot of wasted food, money and resources! Not to mention that all that discarded food piles up in landfills. Probably not the best method.

There are many ways that we can reduce our food waste, even in our own homes. Try using EVERY part of the foods you eat. For example, don’t dispose of the green tops of your carrots—they’re edible! Use them in a recipe like this one! Let’s change our wasteful mentality and use those greens to create something delicious instead!

Picture this: perfectly roasted carrots with a flavor-punching pesto. And no food wasted! Each of us have the ability to reduce our food waste, and the kitchen is where we can take our stand. In this delicious dish, you can use the whole carrot, foliage and all, to reduce your own personal impact!



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Roasted carrots and carrot top pesto

Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto

  • Author: Adventure Blooms
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings

Description

Perfectly roasted carrots and flavor-punching pesto! With no food wasted!


Ingredients

  • 2 bunches whole rainbow carrots with tops
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups carrot top greens
  • 1 cup cilantro, washed and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Prepare carrots by removing green tops, wash and set aside. Wash carrots, lay out on baking sheet, coat with olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 30-35 minutes or until tender.
  3. Pesto – in a food processor or blender, combine carrot greens, cilantro, pepitas, garlic, cumin, lime juice, lime zest, salt and pepper. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Continue processing until the mixture is blended well, scraping down the sides as needed. Taste and adjust as needed. Add more lemon and/or salt if it needs more flavor.
  4. Top carrots with pesto and enjoy!

Notes

Cover and store the leftover pesto in the refrigerator for up to a week.

SERVING SUGGESTION: This would be a great side dish for just about anything! Try this carrot recipe with cilantro lime chicken breasts with roasted potatoes or grilled/stuffed portobello mushrooms with brown rice!

**If your pesto tastes bitter: There could be a variety of culprits… Out of season carrot greens can taste a little bitter and rancid olive oil may also be at fault. Try adding some parmesan cheese or more pepitas to counteract the bitterness. You can also try adding non-bitter greens like spinach to balance out the flavor.

Did you make this dish? Let me know how it turned out by commenting below!

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