I've made a few pestos before. One that's a bit more traditional, and another that's more my style. No matter how you make it, pesto is definitely one of my favorite things to eat, and I am happy to find any excuse at all to use it in a recipe.
This week I got another local produce box that contained a large bunch of kale and some lovely carrots with their tops. Since I was going to be making a soup with the carrots, I began to wonder if the tops of the carrots were edible, and if they were, would they work well in a pesto?
Waste not, want not - right?
I immediately began to do some research. Apparently the tops of the carrots are edible, though they were once thought to be poisons because of their bitter taste; supposedly bitterness is often associated with poisonous foods. Either way, it was all a myth and carrot tops are perfectly safe and delicious to consume when used right!
I've never made a kale pesto before, mostly because up until the last year or two I wasn't completely sold on the idea of this green. Obviously, since then I've changed my tune. I happily enjoy kale in many ways, and now pesto is one of them!
I only ended up using about a half cup of the carrot tops in the pesto, since I didn't want to overwhelm the palette with the bitter taste, just add in a bit of it's own flavor. Plus, I have to say that I felt somewhat accomplished with using up the entire carrot in some way or another since food waste is such a big problem these days.
Somewhere along the lines I had read that American's throw away about 60% of the food that they buy. Unfortunately, this was more than true for me this past week since we had a power outage after a brutal storm that lasted for 6+ hours - which sadly means almost everything perishable in the refrigerator had to go.
This pesto was super tasty and actually ended up being somewhat on the sweet side with the majority of it being kale.
I enjoyed mine over a nice warm soup, but you could really use this pesto in any manner that you would use a more traditional pesto. I enjoy mine in soups, stuffed in chicken, with my eggs, or potatoes!
Skinny Kale & Carrot Top Pesto
Servings: 8 • Size: About 1 Tbsp. • Calories: 101.5 • Fat: 9.9 g • Carb: 1.5 g • Fiber: 0.3 g • Protein: 2.6 g • Sugar: 0.1 g • Sodium: 89.2 mg
1/2 C. Leafy Carrot Tops, Stems Removed
1 1/2 C. (Packed) Kale, Chopped
1/2 C. Parmesan Cheese, Shredded
4 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Pine Nuts
2 Garlic Cloves
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Toss all the ingredients into a blender or food processor until well blended.
Transfer the pesto from the blender or food processor to a small air tight resealable container.
Store sealed in the fridge until ready to use.
I served mine over a warm soup today!