A Pair of Pestos

Market farmer Stephanie Everett and her customer Erin Yon like to talk serious food when they see each other at the market!  They recently shared their favorite non-traditional pesto recipes to pass along to the MSFM community.

From the kitchen of Stephanie Everett of Everett Heritage Farm:

Arugula Pesto RecipeINGREDIENTS
2 cups of packed arugula leaves, stems removed
1/2 cup of shelled walnuts or sunflower seeds
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 garlic clove peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon salt

METHOD
1 Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins.

2 Toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown, or heat in a microwave on high heat for a minute or two until you get that roasted flavor. In our microwave it takes 2 minutes.

3a Food processor method (the fast way): Combine the arugula, salt, walnuts, roasted and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

3b Mortar and pestle method: Combine the nuts, salt and garlic in a mortar. With the pestle, grind until smooth. Add the cheese and olive oil, grind again until smooth. Finely chop the arugula and add it to the mortar. Grind up with the other ingredients until smooth.

Here’s a recipe favored by Erin Yon, from Roots: The Definitive Compendium with More Than 225 Recipes by Diane Morgan:  carrot top pesto!

Recipe: Carrot Top Pesto“I almost always buy fresh carrots with their feathery green tops attached. In the past, I would invariably cut the tops off and send them to the compost bin. Honestly, it never occurred to me that they were edible. But the tops of other root vegetables are edible, so why wouldn’t carrot tops be edible, too? One day I blanched the leaves, pureed them with a little olive oil and then used the puree as a gorgeous green accent sauce for fish, much in the same way I use basil oil. My next idea was to make pesto, trading out the basil for carrot tops, which proved an amazing alternative.
I serve this as a dip with crudites and often add a dollop on top of bruschetta that has been smeared with fresh goat cheese. It’s also perfect simply tossed with pasta.
Makes about 2/3 cup
1 cup lightly packed carrot leaves (stems removed)
6 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (see below)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano

To Toast The Nuts
Toasting pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews and pumpkin seeds brings out their flavor. Spread the nuts or seeds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, place in a preheated 350-degree oven and toast until fragrant and lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the nut or seed. Alternatively, nuts and seeds can be browned in a microwave. Spread in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high power, stopping to stir once or twice, until fragrant and lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Watch them closely so they don’t burn.

To Make the Pesto
In a food processor, combine the carrot leaves, oil, garlic, and salt and process until finely minced. Add the pine nuts and pulse until finely chopped. Add the Parmesan and pulse just until combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.”

Recipe reprinted from Roots: The Definitive Compendium with More Than 225 Recipes by Diane Morgan. Copyright 2012 by Diane Morgan.

Heather Cross