Friday, September 2, 2011

Grilled Carrots with Carrot-Green Pesto

Here's another recipe that uses the whole bunch of carrots. The creator of the original recipe chose to go very basic for her pesto, but I decided to add some of the ingredients she listed as optional. Note: I didn't measure ingredients at all. Sorry; I realize it's not very helpful for me to say, "Just add what feels right," but that's the best I can offer for this one.

Carrots (1 bunch)
Olive oil (a couple tablespoons, then about 1/2 c.??)
Carrot greens (from the aforementioned bunch), coarsely chopped after removing (and composting) the thicker stems
Garlic, coarsely chopped (a couple cloves)
Grated Parmesan (1/4 c.??)
Slivered almonds, or other tree nuts (1/4 c.??)
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt the water, add the carrot greens, and boil for about one minute. Drain the greens. Purée the drained greens with the garlic, Parmesan, almonds, and the remaining 1/2 c.-ish of olive oil. I used our immersible blender to purée everything, because that's the appliance we have for the task, but a food processor would certainly be quicker. Add more olive oil as needed to loosen the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste (I forgot the pepper).

Cut the carrots lengthwise into long spears. Depending on the girth of your carrots, you may be able to simply halve them, or you may have to quarter them--or even cut them into sixths or eighths. The point is to get them fairly uniform in size and thin enough that they'll grill fairly quickly. Coat them sparingly in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste (I forgot to do this). Grill the carrots until they have nice grill marks on all sides and are tender. As the recipe's creator mentioned, you can cook the carrots in a heavy-bottomed skillet if you don't have a grill.

Serve the grilled carrots with the pesto.

The original recipe's creator was right--the carrots do smell amazingly sweet while grilling. We all thoroughly enjoyed this dish. Steve and I both thought it was fantastic. Liam repeatedly commented on how much he loved it and how amazing the carrots tasted when they were dipped in the pesto. Annika initially ignored the pesto and even refused the tiny amount I offered her on a fork. But then she accepted the pesto-dipped piece of carrot I gave her. The next time I looked at her plate, her entire dollop of pesto was gone. She proceeded to eat all her remaining carrots, too. Despite having been fairly generous in our servings of pesto, we have a lot left over. Oh darn.

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