Carrot Pesto Recipe
A unique twist on pesto, this beautiful orange carrot pesto is a perfect quick and easy pasta dish. Serve with some grilled chicken for a perfect complete meal!
I reviewed Heather’s first book over three years ago. It is titled Heather Christo’s Generous Table…and we make her chive bread recipe often. Since Heather’s first book came out, her life has changed dramatically. Her daughter Pia was five when she ended up in the ER with severe abdominal pains and dry heaving. Unsatisfied with the answers from physicians they saw, Heather went into momma bear mode and followed her gut — the instinctive feeling she had that this could be related to food sensitivities or allergies.
Through a combination of food diaries, elimination diets, food allergy testing, and doctor visits, she not only determined that Pia was experiencing food allergies, but so was she, as well as her other daughter. They went cold turkey and eliminated all the foods on their lists. This was not a small task. The entire family became gluten, dairy, egg, soy, and cane sugar free. Individual ingredients and foods were also avoided based on the results of each person’s test results.
The result? Heather writes:
“In our family, everything improved: our moods, the quality of our sleep, our energy levels, mobility, focus — the changes were dramatic and undeniable. We laugh more, have more energy and spend much less time (and money) at the doctor. Being sick is now the exception rather than the rule.”
Although we may not share allergens (N is severely allergic to sesame, and many recipes in this book include sesame or sesame oil), we do share experiences and fears. I look forward to digging further into Heather’s story – her book not only contains tons of great recipes but it also includes over 55 pages of fantastic advice, not only for determining allergens, but also for maintaining normalcy, school lunch prep, cooking dinner with your kids, eating out, and more. Any mom of a kid with food allergies knows how hard some of these situations can be. I’m definitely going to be putting some of Heather’s advice into use as N starts school in the fall.
Even if you’re lucky enough to have a family free of food allergies, this book contains over 150 recipes that you’re sure to love. And as always, you can adapt them to fit your own lifestyle. For me, that meant using regular pasta for this recipe instead of gluten-free as the recipe was written. Aside from the carrot pesto, a few of the other recipes calling my name are:
- Hot Spinach, Strawberry and Bacon Salad
- Beet Salad with Parsley-Pumpkin Seed Pesto and Fresh Mint
- Quinoa with Oven-Dried Tomatoes and Smoky Tomato Vinaigrette
- Portobello Mushroom Burgers with Cream Red Pepper Spread and Roasted Shallots and Cherry Tomatoes
- Slow-Braised Pork Ragù
- Savory Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Bacon, Onion, and Greens
And basically every other recipe in the book.
Still with me? I don’t think I’ve ever gone on and on so much during a book review, but as you know, food allergies are point of passion for me. Should we talk about this gorgeous and unique carrot pesto?
About the Carrot Pesto:
First of all, this is unlike any pesto you’ve ever tried before. It’s nut-free (yay!) and it’s also basil free. Carrots shine as the star here while the other ingredients (garlic, rice vinegar, and olive oil) play supporting roles. Since it’s such a simple no-frills recipe, make sure to use your best olive oil so the flavor can shine (this olive oil is one of my favorites).
Chive flowers optional, but aren’t they pretty?
- kosher salt
- 4 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 pound gluten-free pasta
- chives and edible flowers for garnish (optional)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the carrots to the pot and boil them for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the carrots from the water, shaking off the extra water; don’t discard the cooking water.
- Place the drained carrots in a blender and add the garlic, vinegar, and oil. Puree until very smooth. Season generously with salt.
- Bring the pot of water back to a boil and add the pasta. Cook just to al dente (a few minutes short of the manufacturer’s directions). When the pasta is cooked, drain and return it to the empty pot. Add the carrot pesto and toss to coat.
- Transfer the past to a serving platter, garnish with edible flowers and chives, if desired, and serve hot.
Reprinted from Pure Delicious by arrangement with Pam Krauss Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2016, Heather Christo LLC
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 side servings Serving Size: 1 of 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 453Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 158mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 7gSugar: 4gProtein: 3g
Husband’s take: I don’t think he actually tried any of this. He’s kind of sensitive to garlic, so I just made a small batch of this pesto for myself.
Changes I would make: None are necessary!
Difficulty: Very easy.