These lovely carrots were among the dishes that we served on Christmas day. When I saw them in the market, I knew that they would be coming home with me. The carrots are beautiful in their own right, and roasting them whole seemed to be the best way to present them. The rainbow root veggies looked beautiful on our Christmas table. The red purple and yellow colors looked vibrant and festive with the green pesto. The flavor of the carrot was intense and sweet, each color variation tasting a bit different. Roasting them to crisp/tender amplified their natural sweetness, and allowed the natural sugar to caramelize. The carrot green pesto was a beautiful bright contrast to the sweet roasted carrots. It’s fresh and nutty, with a sharp bite of Parmesan cheese and creamy, buttery walnuts. A perfect pairing straight from the garden – carrots dressed with a pesto of their own greens.
I love the beautiful simplicity of this dish. The presentation makes it impressive enough to serve to dinner guests, but the ease of preparation will have me making it again when there is no occasion other than the joy of sitting down to a beautiful looking meal after a long day.
If you haven’t tried your carrots roasted, you’re missing out! Roasting them amplifies the flavor in a way that you just can’t get from steaming or sauteing.
I wrote a post a couple weeks back with a lovely recipe for carrot pesto, and I’ll just refer you to that link for the pesto preparation. The only difference between this version and the last is that I chose to use only carrot greens in this batch. I excluded the parsley and found it to be just as good, or better. It had more of the true carrot green taste.
For the pesto recipe see this post: Carrot Green and Walnut Pesto
- 1 large bunch of heirloom carrots. (Try to choose a bunch with bright bushy greens, and thin carrots for the best flavor)
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
- Fresh cracked salt and pepper to taste
For the pesto:
- 1 bunch carrot greens (thoroughly washed and dried)
- 1/2 bunch parsley (optional)
- 3/4 cup roasted walnuts
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
- Wash and dry carrot greens, and prepare pesto
- Trim greens from carrots, leaving about 1/2 inch on top if desired (I just thought it looked pretty)
- Peel and trim off stringy ends
- Line on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil, balsamic, salt and pepper
- Roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until carrots reach desired level of tenderness and edges caramelize
- Top with pesto just before serving