I stumbled on this recipe when I was prototying the new Humphrey's Smash Spatula! I harvested a bunch of carrots from the garden and I feel so wasteful when i discard all those beautiful green tops of the carrots. Clearly, there must be a way to use those. So I made some pesto with it! It turned out just as I thought, not as aromatic as basil pesto, but delish just the same! I thought, this would be perfect on the smash potatoes that just came out of the smoker! A crowd pleaser was born! Lets start with the Pesto!
- 1 bunch carrot tops
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lemon, zest and juice (zest first - it's easier than trying to zest after squeezing it!)
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped pine nuts, or pecans, or almonds
- (optional) salt to taste
Add all ingredients to a food processor, starting with the lesser amount of olive oil. Pulse a few times until well combined. Add additional olive oil as needed to reach desired pesto texture. I didn't use a food processor this time as I wanted it a bit more rustic with texture.I just finely chopped everything
Taste pesto - if desired, add salt. I usually season the foods I'm adding it to first (like baked chicken or potatoes) but feel free to add a little salt to the pesto if needed.
Now onto the Smoked Baby Reds:
- Baby Red Potatoes, I used about 2#
- Olive Oil, 2 Tablespoons
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat Smoker to 375-400 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, placed your washed potatoes, olive oil and salt and pepper in the bowl and mix well until all of the potatoes are covered with oil.
Spread the potatoes out onto a wire rack and set into hot smoker
Smoker for about an hour, checking for doneness, a toothpick should slide into the potato with ease. If it has resistance, leave them in for about another 15 minutes. Cook time will be dependent on potato size.
- Once cooked use Humphrey's Smash Spatula to squish the potatoes, then top with pesto
There are tons of ways you can use this carrot top pesto, just like you’d use other forms of pesto. Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking about how to use pesto:
- Mix with pasta and veggies for a nice spring and summertime dish
- Use as a spread on a sandwich instead of mayo
- Make into pesto pizza (think topping naan with pesto, grilled chicken, tomatoes, and mozz, or topping your favorite pizza crust with portabello mushrooms, red peppers, and pesto)
- Toss with roasted or grilled veggies
- Drizzle over avocado toast
- Mix with roasted potatoes (my favorite – just look at those potatoes below!)
- Top baked or grilled chicken
- Spread on bruschetta
- Add to your favorite grilled cheese
- Toss with spaghetti squash and grilled shrimp
- Make a pesto mac & cheese
- Mix into chicken salad sandwiches
- Top a turkey burger with pesto, tomatoes, and mozzarella
- Use as a dip for baked french fries
- Make cheesy pesto pull-apart bread for a party