A Different Kind of Pesto

 




You know it and they know it. You're just not eating enough vegetables. Now here's an easy to get them. Dr. Michael Roizen and Dr. Oz Medical Director Dr. Michael Crupain came by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about their new cookbook, What to Eat When.  They promise it's not a diet book, but rather a guide to meals that could help you look and feel younger, or snacks that prevent diseases.  Among the recipes, a delicious Carrot Top Pesto. The main ingredient is exactly what is named, the very tops of a carrot stalk, which they say, are loaded with vegetables. This pesto has a wonderful, earthy flavor. The best part, it's pretty-much guilt free!

  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 2 tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 of a lemon)
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest (about 1/2 of a lemon)
  • carrot tops from 1 large or 2 smaller bunches of carrots (yields 1 cup blanched)
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 4 green onions fresh green parts only
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts (optional)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. 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, add 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.

  2. Drain the carrot tops, wring out excess liquid, and spread them on a plate to dry while you do the remaining recipe prep.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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