blanched carrots with parsley-carrot top pesto

A white pine tree can grow tall in a few years while it takes an oak 10-15 years to reach the same height, yet both are strong and healthy, says my yoga teacher, Nancy Opgaard. She says this as some of us wiggle and wobble in tree pose while others stand tall. The same is true for veggies: note the various sized carrots below. Celebrate the difference! When it comes to veggies, notice the differences in taste, texture and cooking times. 

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serves 2-4


1 bunch fresh picked carrots, with tops

2 pinches sea salt

1 bunch parsley (about 1 cup when washed and trimmed)

½ bunch basil (about ½ cup when washed and trimmed)

1 bunch carrot tops (about  ½  cup when washed and trimmed)

1 clove garlic

¼ cup raw pistachio or pine nuts (optional)

¼ cup EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)



Wash and trim the carrots, removing tops and setting them aside for use in the pesto. Leave the carrots whole.


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, adding a pinch of sea salt when water begins to boil. Note: you can use a pasta pot for this. Drop the clean carrots into the water.

When they float to the water’s surface, they are ready. This may take as much as 5 minutes, depending on the size of the carrot. The tiny ones will be ready in 10-20 seconds. Use a metal skimmer to take each carrot out of the pot as it is ready.


Arrange the carrots on a plate.

You can make the pesto the night before and serve it with pasta or on bruschetta.


Dry roast the nuts, if using. Place them in a stainless steel or cast iron skillet, and use cooking chopsticks or a spoon to turn them so that each side of each nut gets exposed to the heat. This burns off any rancidity, and re-charges the nuts.


Wash the parsley, basil and carrot tops well. Trim stems from all three; remove any brown parts of carrot leaves.  Peel the garlic. Place the parsley, basil, carrot tops, garlic, olive oil and nuts (optional), along with a pinch of sea salt, into a blender. Blend well.  Add water as needed, if texture is too thick.


Serve as a dipping sauce for the carrots.