Fun fact: the green tops of the carrots (the ones you tend to throw in the garbage) contain 5 times the amount of Vitamin C as the roots!
And when you spontaneously decide to turn trash into treasure and whip them into a pesto, the flavor is unbelievably bright and complex.
Mind = blown.
So if you just can’t bring yourself to bust out another damn iceberg-lettuce-laden-side-salad when someone puts you on dinner duty, feel free to sub in this delicious tray of roasted roots. I, for one, was pleasantly surprised at how well the refreshing, slightly bitter pesto paired with the mild sweetness of the roasted carrots and the earthy flavors in the curry and thyme. Match made in heaven, mis amigos.
Tinder got nothin’ on this polyamorous side dish.
Food waste is a hot issue right now in the food world. I mean, not in my kitchen…trust me I do a pretty good job of like #eatingallthethings but that’s not to say I don’t get lazy from time to time and just toss out food scraps. However, it’s a new year and I’m trying to get my act together and trying to be a bit more creative with my leftovers. For instance, instead of tossing out orange or lemon peels, zest them and use them elsewhere.– not only are they loaded with citrus flavor, they’re teeming with cancer-fighting phytonutrients. The leaves of celery have more calcium than the stalks– throw them in soups or smoothies! Keep the peels from fresh ginger and steep them in boiling water for some spicy tea with an antioxidant kick. Food scraps are so the new black.
Curry Charred Carrots
- 4 bunches fresh carrots with green tops intact (6-8 medium carrots per bunch, ~4 lbs…try to find thin ones because they’re better for charring)
- 1/4 cup fresh thyme, chopped
- 3-4 T balsamic vinegar (I use a thick reduction glaze, you can find it in most markets)
- 1-2 T olive oil
- 2 T curry powder
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, but recommended 😉
- Sea salt + pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Chop the green tops of the carrots and set aside, then chop each carrot in half, lengthwise. Line a couple baking sheets with tin foil and spread out carrots evenly. I try to place them so they’re not fully touching one another…they’ll blacken more easily this way.
- Pour olive oil over the carrots, then sprinkle with thyme, curry powder, cayenne (if using), and salt and pepper to taste.
- Roast anywhere from 20-30 minutes, checking on the carrots frequently so they don’t burn. I like a little burnt crisp to my carrots, but that’s just me. I mean not like BLACK but yanno, a little charrin’ never caused any scarrin’. When done to your liking, remove from oven and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
- While the carrots are roasting, peep the recipe below. You can drizzle the pesto over the carrots, too. SO GOOD.
Carrot Top Pesto
- ~3 cups carrot tops, stems removed and rinsed and drained
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1/2 cup + 2 T olive oil
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- Whiz all ingredients in a food processor or high powered blender. Taste and add more salt or pepper if chu think it’s lackin’.
- Get to snackin’. K. Done with the rhymes. Swear.