The days are getting shorter and nature’s brush is painting leaves all gold and glowy. And as the soil’s temperature starts to cool and all but the hardiest vegetables die off, the harvest of the Summer sun’s hard work is in full swing. Market stalls are brimming with beetroot; ruby globes, their yellow cousins and even striated ones for roast dinner frivolity. Then there’s the carrots. Not your measured and scrutinized supermarket version, these ones still bear soil ingrained in their skin like a dirt happy gardener. And hair like roots on their spindly ends tell the tale of drilling deep in search of nutrients.
Simply scrubbed and roasted with honey and caraway seeds they sing on the tongue. But what of the delicate tops? Vivid green and heady with vitamins and sunshine, it seems not only wasteful but terribly foolish to banish them to the compost bin. While still fresh and perky, blitz them up with a handful of pantry items and a pesto will be savoured within minutes.
Carrot Top Pesto
I bunch of carrot tops, washed and dried
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup of sunflower seeds
1/2 cup of parmesan
1/2 cup of olive oil (perhaps a little more)
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
salt and pepper
Combine the carrot tops, garlic, sunflower seeds and cheese in a food processor.
Whiz until all the ingredients are chopped and then add the lemon juice and slowly drizzle in the oil and process until all the mixture is thoroughly combined and the desired consistency.
Season with salt and pepper.