carrot top & cashew pesto
You probably wouldn’t guess, what with all of the pretty and the involved and the delicious that appears on this blog, that I’m actually a little bit of a slouch when it comes to cooking lunch.
But especially lunch.
You see, my non-blog working hours usually start a little bit after lunchtime, on most days of the week. And while for a good, responsible, organised person, that would mean extra time to prepare lunch and dinner and to eat in a reasonably healthy fashion… for me, it means extra time spent making cake and then realising that I have to leave in half an hour and where are my shoes and I haven’t eaten yet and oh look! Instant noodles!
It’s an ongoing struggle.
Koji started a new contract about a month or so ago, and with it, comes the added benefit of working close enough to home for me to lunch with him. On occasion, this will be a packed lunch from home, usually leftovers from dinner, though (like my panic-induced-running-late meals), it’s normally takeaway something.
Except for today!
(Because I am an-almost-thirty-year-old! Who has a handle on adult things!)
Much as I love buying fresh fruit and vegetables, I’m always a little bit reluctant to because I hate wasting them when they aren’t eaten. There’s nothing quite as sad as a mouldy watermelon quarter or a couple of squishy beets sitting at the bottom of your fruit and vege crisper (true stories, both of them).
So now I think before I buy.
Which nights are we home? Which nights are we home early enough after work to not end up getting takeaway on the road home? What have we eaten recently that we enjoyed? What’s in season? What can I make with as little effort as possible (but maximum results)?
The answer, at the moment, is usually some variation of this brussel sprouts recipe, tossed through grains or pasta, but a cheery bunch of purple and orange carrots called for a mix up this weekend past, and we roasted those with sesame seeds instead, leaving a rubber-band of frilly, green tops to contend with.
(And a handful of cashews that Koji hadn’t gotten around to eating yet).
(And a few too many lemons, because I can never quite resist a lemon on sale.)
Ten minutes is all it took for the recipe to come together, from fridge to bottle, and I’ve been eating it all week.
Mixed through eggs for a herby scramble (or, as I did one morning, just dolloped on top of the eggs, for an extra green tasting breakfast). Tumbled through pasta with leftover roasted vegetables for Koji’s lunch (and my breakfast). Smeared on the top of a tiny, seared steak.
We’ve stirred it through greek yoghurt and added a squeeze of lemon for a tangy salad dressing and used it to pep up some sad, Winter tomatoes.
It’s very close to almost gone.
And so, a recipe that’s more of a vague method than recipe, along with the reminder to look through your crisper to see what’s there (and what’s close to being not-quite-edible).
As for mine? There’s a whole heap of broccoli that needs seeing to.
- 1 bunch of carrot tops (the green leaves and stems of carrots)
- 1 handful (about ¾ cup) unroasted cashews
- 2 big glugs (about ¼ cup) olive oil
- the zest of one lemon
- ½ tsp - 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- a good pinch of salt
- a decently vigourous cracking of black pepper
- Wash the carrot tops to get rid of any dirt and then chop them into three or four sections with a pair of scissors.
- Dump everything into the bowl of a food processor and whizz it together, scraping down the sides occasionally, until it gets to the texture you like best for pesto. I like mine mostly smooth, but with a few decently sized nutty chunks in there too.
- Serve it on top of scrambled eggs, tossed through pasta, thinned with a bit of yoghurt as a salad dressing or on crackers with cheese. As you wish.