One of the biggest hits at the Ballymaloe Litfest 2015 on 16/17th May was April Bloomfield’s carrot top pesto, following through on her ‘top to bottom’ philosophy with vegetables where if you can eat it, and it’s good, you should eat it.
Here is her recipe for roasted carrots with carrot top pesto and burrata.
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 lb. small carrots with green tops (2 carrots peeled, remaining carrots scrubbed and trimmed, leaving 1″ green tops, leaves and tender stems reserved)
- 2 1/2 tsp. flake sea salt, such as Maldon
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 cloves garlic (3 unpeeled and lightly crushed, 1 peeled)
- 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
- 8 oz. burrata or fresh mozzarella, drained
- 2 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- Heat oven to 500°. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a 12″ ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Add trimmed carrots and 1 tsp. salt; cook, turning carrots as needed, until browned, 6–8 minutes. Add butter and crushed garlic; roast until carrots are tender, 10–12 minutes.
- Pulse three-quarters of carrot leaves and stems, 1 tsp. salt, the peeled garlic, 1/4 cup basil, the walnuts, and parmesan in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add 3/4 cup oil; purée into a smooth pesto.
- Arrange roasted carrots on a serving platter with burrata. Using a vegetable peeler, peel remaining 2 carrots into thin ribbons and place in a bowl. Add remaining oil, carrot leaves and tender stems, salt, and basil, plus lemon juice; toss to combine. Sprinkle over carrots and burrata. Spoon about 1/3 cup pesto over carrots and sprinkle with more Parmesan; serve remaining pesto on the side.