Carrot Top, Fennel Frond Pesto


Today’s my blog’s 11th birthday. I was going to do a post about that, but there’s really not much to say that I didn’t already say last year (see: Ten Years a Food Blogger). So instead of a navel-gazing post, here’s a produce-maximizing post. It’s a post that came about through necessity.

See, my CSA came this weekend, and after I unpacked it, I was a little angry. Look at the photo above: there were 4 or 5 dinky carrots attached to a huge mound of carrot greens. And a fine bulb of fennel attached to so many wisps of fennel fronds, it looked like Rapunzel. What was a responsible food blogger to do?

The answer came via Instagram: make pesto!

Oh, right. Pesto. You can make pesto out of anything–(there are many posts about this on the interwebs)–so why not carrot tops and fennel fronds? Here’s what I did: I hacked them off. With the fennel fronds, I got rid of the thick, branchy parts; with the carrot tops, I just used them all. First, I blended 3 fat garlic cloves with a handful of whole almonds (walnuts would work here too; or pine nuts, if you can afford them) and a pinch of salt. Then in went the greens:


Zap that with a stream of olive oil until it looks like this:


Add lemon juice and Parmesan to taste and there you are: the most resourceful pesto in the world.

Now, as a pasta maniac, my natural impulse would be to boil some penne, stir this in, add some chunks of mozzarella and cherry tomatoes and call it lunch. But I had all of those beautiful vegetables that came in my CSA–frisée notwithstanding–and so I cut them all up for a salad.


And turned the pesto into a salad dressing by adding a glug of white wine vinegar and more oil; here, isn’t that pretty?


Nothing went to waste and it all tasted swell. How’s that for an 11th anniversary post? Still got it.

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