I’m SUPER-EXCITED to share this recipe with you today!!!!
This is seriously one of my favourite recipes, like even better than my Raw Vegan Layered Lamington Nice Cream Sundae and my Raw Blueberry Walnut Tartlets with a Cinnamon Chia Seed Filling, and TIED first place (or maybe even better than some of
these!) with my much-loved Burrito Power Bowl with Creamy Coconut Avocado Cream, Smoked Paprika Tortilla Crisps and Sunflower Seed “Melted Cheese”, my Moroccan Cauliflower Rice Power Bowl with Lemon-Parsley Black Beans, Massaged Spinach, Spiced Tortilla Crisps, Whipped Lemon Coconut Cream and Sunflower Seed “Melted Cheese”, my Green Tea and Pomegranate Oatmeal with Walnuts, Figs and Dark Chocolate and even my “Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn” Power Bowl (AKA Super Salad)!
Like if that’s not enough to show you how good it is, then I don’t know what is.
I had this idea to use up all the carrot tops in the garden one day. I’d already planned what I was going to make myself for dinner, but as soon as this idea popped up, I just couldn’t resist.
Oh, and I couldn’t resist the carrots either.
Aren’t they just too cute?
(I’ve been known to call trees and plants cute for as long as I can remember – and yes, still now. The cutest would have to be the Colorado Blue Spruce!!)
But anyway, if you’ve been following That Green Olive, you’ll know what I got in my Christmas stocking last year (if you don’t, click here). And just by reading the title of this post, you’ll know what I used out of my stocking for this recipe.
(Hint: It comes from another really cute tree)
And yes, I can see that they’re burnt. That’s what happens when the pan’s too hot and you forget that there are pine nuts in the too-hot pan and when you return to it the nuts are burnt.
What a happy accident! Burnt pine nuts bring such a DELICIOUS smokey flavour to this dish, so in this case, I would recommend you burn your pine nuts 🙂 .
Just not too much.
Despite the glory of the burnt pine nut, these happy accidents are not the star of the show.
The pesto is.
And the star of the pesto….
Carrot tops have such a delicious flavour. Think of spinach-meets-dandelion-meets-carrot.
So I just knew that they would pair well with buckwheat!
You really want to toast them so much as to get this rich, golden brown colour for that strong nutty flavour.
Carrot tops + toasted buckwheat + toasted almonds are blitzed together, then stirred into olive oil. That’s the pesto.
And then you have a whole heap of other yummies like carrots, parsnips, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, silverbeet (Swiss chard) and your garnishes.
(It looks like I’m either super-tall or have a tripod or something to take that photo but really it’s just me standing on a chair from the dining table)
And then the pesto is tossed through wholemeal vegan pasta.
Buuuuut, as you can see, that’s not all. You can see a whole heap of herbs (and, if you look closely, you can probably spot a cute little bundle of herbs among all those veggies!)
I used the super-skinny point of a carrot to create the “string” and used it to tie a bunch of different herbs and flowers together.
Ultimately, a bouquet of herbs.
How fancy-pants is that?
(I should be a professional herb-florist when I’m older. You know, selling edible herb-and-flower bouquets to people for Valentine’s Day and all that (it’s a foodie thing 😉 )
Oooh yes, look at all that roasted goodness!
LOADED CARROT TOP PESTO PASTA WITH ROAST VEGETABLES, TOASTED BUCKWHEAT, BURNT PINE NUTS AND HERB BOUQUETS
FOR THE ROASTED VEGETABLES
- 200g carrots, halved if large
- 200g parnsips, halved if large
- 50g mushrooms, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 80g cherry tomatoes
- extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- salt and pepper, for sprinkling
FOR THE BOWL
- 100g vegan wholemeal fettucine
- 2 large silverbeet (Swiss chard) leaves, destemmed
- 2 tbsp (1/8 cup) pine nuts*
- 2 tbsp (1/8 cup) almonds
- 1 tbsp toasted buckwheat groats*
FOR THE CARROT TOP PESTO
- 1 1/2 cups carrot tops
- 1 tbsp toasted buckwheat groats*
- 2 tbsp (1/8 cup) roasted almonds
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- large pinch pink Himalayan salt
- large pinch freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE HERB BOUQUETS
- A few sprigs of rosemary
- A few sprigs of sage
- A few sprigs of thyme
- A few chives
- A few fennel fronds
- A few edible flowers (I used violas)
- Two super-skinny carrot points (from homegrown or organic carrots)
- Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.
- Place the carrots and parsnips on a large baking tray, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in preheated oven.
- Once the carrots and parsnips have been roasting for 15 minutes, add the cherry tomatoes and mushrooms to the same tray. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and return to the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the carrots and parsnips are soft.
- Cook with pasta according to packet directions, or cook in a pot of simmering, lightly salted water for 15 minutes or until al dente.
- Place silverbeet leaves in a skillet or pan with approximately 2 tbsp (1/8 cup) of water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 1 minute, then remove from heat and leave the lid on the pan to “steam” the leaves. You don’t want them to wilt – just to soften.
- Place pine nuts in a pan over high heat. Cook, stirring, until the pine nuts are slightly blackened** (yes, blackened – check the photo earlier on in this post!). Immediately remove from the heat and tip into a bowl or a chopping board.
CARROT TOP PESTO
- Place carrot tops, toasted buckwheat groats and almonds in a high speed blender. Blend until everything is finely chopped. Stir through olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Divide your herbs and flowers into two piles. Arrange them nicely, then tie a skinny carrot tip around each bundle as you would a piece of string.
- When everything has cooked, divide your pasta among two bowls. Dollop approximately 2 tbsp (1/8 cup) of the carrot top pesto into each bowl and toss through the pasta. Divide the roasted vegetables evenly among the bowls, then top each bowl with a silverbeet (Swiss chard) leaf and a herb bouquet. Divide the burnt pine nuts, toasted almonds and toasted buckwheat groats between bowls.
* Your buckwheat groats should be nicely browned – see the photo earlier on in this post.
** Your pine nuts should be slightly blackened for that “burnt” flavour – see the photo earlier on in this post.
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did! 😀