Carrot Leaf Pesto

Recipe comes from gleefully altering the original pesto recipe until it's barely recognizable as such!

Carrot leaves are pretty awesome. If you find carrots with their leaves still intact you can measure more accurately their freshness - but they usually end up in the bin after that. They're also really easy to grow - getting a carrot to fully develop underground can be tricky, but growing the bush on top is always much easier. And they make for a delicious pesto.
I marked the recipe as naturally gluten free, as the pesto itself is GF. You can then use it in any way you like it - though the most common way to eat it is with pasta.


❧ A good quantity of carrot leaves
❧ Garlic (1/2 cloves, at taste)
❧ Hard "italian" cheese, in the style of Parmesan (if you can get the real deal it will be worth it!)
❧ A few walnuts (original recipe for pesto calls for pine nuts, I personally prefer walnuts in this one - you do you!)
❧ Olive Oil (Extra Virgin preferable)


❧ The hardest, most tedious part will be choosing the leaves. Younger leaves are to be preferred, as they are fresher and don't have that "fuzz" underneath, which could be an unpleasant feeling. Getting as few stems as possible is also important. Unless you intend to put it through a blender - but I can never get mine to grind down the tiny quantities involved in one or two portions of pesto.

❧ Now, you can either use a blender (if it's able to blend small quantities), or a traditional mortar and pestle.
Mine is a bit too small but I make it fit!
I recommend to crush the nuts first, before it all gets sticky from the veggies. Then, put them aside.

❧ As for the veggies tend to crush the garlic first, but while taking the pics I forgot it and had to crush it later. I usually count 1 or 2 cloves per person, depending on how much you like garlic.

❧ Then you simply keep grinding down the leaves as well, until they turn kind of mushy.

❧ Grate down some of the cheese, and mix everything together! Mix in leaves+clovers with the cheese and nuts, and keep crushing everything down until everything is mixed in together.

❧ Add in the oil - I find it's up to taste, but no less than a couple of tablespoons for person - I think the standard is three.

❧ Though you could eat the pesto in any way you'd like, usually people say "Pesto" to mean "Pasta al pesto". And for good reason! Go boil some pasta! Once it's drained, mix the past and the pesto in the still-warm pot you used to boil pasta in, so everything gets mixed well.
I'm not a food photographer so my pasta looks kind of gross. But I swear it's delicious!
I used wholemeal oat and rice pasta here. Enjoy!

Back to the Cookbook