Honey-Roasted Carrot Tartines with Whipped Goat Cheese and Pistachio-Carrot Top Pesto

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carrots peeled carrots

carrot peelings

“I come to a tree so rich with autumn’s golds and reds it makes for a mild ache. I lie down under it, close my eyes, and let my mind wander. I think of all that is happening elsewhere, as I lie here. Nearby, I can hear the sounds of a road crew. Somewhere else, monkeys chatter in trees. A male seahorse becomes pregnant. A diamond forms, a bee dances out directions, a windshield shatters. Somewhere a mother spreads peanut butter for her son’s lunch, a lover sighs, a knitter binds off the edge of a sleeve. Clouds gather to make rain, corn ripens on the stalk, a cancer cell divides, a little league team scores. Somewhere blossoms open, a man pushes a knife in deeper, a painter darkens her blue. A cashier pours new dimes into an outstretched hand, rainbows form and fade, plates in the earth shift and settle. A woman opens a velvet box, male spiders pluck gently on the females’ webs, falcons fall from the sky. Abstracts are real and time is a lie, it cannot be measured when one moment can expand to hold everything. You can want to live and end up choosing death; and you can want to die and end up living. What keeps us here, really? A thread that breaks in a breeze. And yet a thread that cannot be broken.” – Elizabeth Berg, Never Change

carrot top pesto carrot tops

carrot top pistachio pesto

roast carrots with thyme roast carrots with thyme

This recipe is ideal for the cusp of fall, when temperatures drop, and you want something rich and flavorful, but not too heavy. The carrot greens have quite a strong taste, so you can always halve the quantity of greens and double the parsley. Serves a crowd on crostini, or 8 filling, lunch-sized portions. The pesto yields about 2 cups.

  • WHIPPED GOAT CHEESE: 
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 10 ounces fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 15 cracks black pepper
  • PESTO:
  • 3/4 (90 grams) cup roasted, salted pistachios
  • the juice (4-5 tablespoons) and zest of 1 large lemon
  • 10 cracks black pepper
  • the tops and stems of 1 large bunch of carrots
  • 1/2 packed cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • up to 2/3 cup olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • ROAST CARROTS:
  • 1 large bunch of carrots (about 2 pounds/900 grams)
  • about 15 fresh thyme stems
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced
  • 1 tablespoon hot honey (or, 1 tablespoon honey plus 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
  • 1 scant teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • WHIPPED GOAT CHEESE: 
  •      Move all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, or until the goat cheese whip is light and fluffy. (This can also be accomplished in a food processor.) (The goat cheese whip can be made up to 3 days ahead, and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before using.)
  • PESTO:
  •      Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Blanch the carrot greens for 45 seconds, and then shock them in an ice bath. (Or, run them under chilly water for 30 seconds. The idea is bring down their temperature and arrest “cooking.”)
  •      Move the pistachios, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, carrot greens, parsley, mint, and garlic to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 10-15 times, to break down the greens. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. As you run the machine, pour in 1/3 of the olive oil; blend for 10 seconds. (After the initial 1/3 cup, add olive oil tablespoon by tablespoon, until you have a pesto texture you’re happy with–I had a lot of carrot greens, so it took 2/3 cup olive oil to achieve a “runny” pesto consistency.) Taste the pesto, and add more salt if needed. (The pesto can be made up to 1 day ahead, and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before using.)
  • ROAST CARROTS:
  •      Heat the oven to 400F/200C. Peel and chop the carrots into bite-sized pieces. Move the carrots to a large baking sheet and, using your hands, toss with the thyme, mint, hot honey, salt, and olive oil until evenly coated. Roast the vegetables for 30 minutes, until they are starting to brown on the outside, and they are tender inside. You can serve the vegetables hot, or at room temperature. (The vegetables can be made up to 2 days ahead, and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Bring to room temperature, or warm, before using.)
  • PUTTING IT TOGETHER:
  •      Toast some bread. For lunch, I’d cut slices from a sourdough boule, or use whole wheat sandwich bread, or rye bread. You can halve a baguette, and make more of a sandwich. If you’re preparing this recipe for a party, use crostini rounds. The type of bread you use is not that important.
  •      Smear the bread with a generous swipe of the whipped goat cheese, and then a dollop of pesto. Pile on some vegetables. You could also top the toast with an extra drizzle of hot honey and/or a sprinkling of flake sea salt.

Honey-Roasted Carrot Tartines with Whipped Goat Cheese and Pistachio-Carrot Top PestoHoney-Roasted Carrot Tartines with Whipped Goat Cheese and Pistachio-Carrot Top Pesto

Honey-Roasted Carrot Tartines with Whipped Goat Cheese and Pistachio-Carrot Top Pesto Honey-Roasted Carrot Tartines with Whipped Goat Cheese and Pistachio-Carrot Top Pesto

Honey-Roasted Carrot Tartines with Whipped Goat Cheese and Pistachio-Carrot Top PestoHoney-Roasted Carrot Tartines with Whipped Goat Cheese and Pistachio-Carrot Top Pesto

3 Comments

  1. Trish

    Absolutely gorgeous! I love the carrot top pesto!

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