Roasted Carrot Grilled Cheese with Carrot Top Pesto

Roasted Carrot Grilled Cheese

Roasted Carrot Grilled Cheese with Carrot Top Pesto
From Happyolks

Holy crap, this was the bomb diggity.  Yeah, I went there.  It’s the exact phrase that popped into my head as I sunk my teeth into this scrumptious sammy.  Bomb.  Diggity.  I know at first glance it looks a little odd, but sometimes that’s exactly what it takes to create something mind blowing.

I came across the recipe thanks to my CSA bounty for this week.  In it was a beautiful bunch of stumpy little carrots.  I’m not sure what they’re called and I of course forgot to take a picture before hacking them up, but here’s one from someone else’s blog.  Of course, I figured I could use the carrots in just about anything calling for carrots, but I was determined to put their leafy green tops to use, too.  A little Googling and I stumbled upon this gem.  30 minutes of kitchen excitement later, and I had reached the official moment of bomb diggity.  Seriously, hit up your local farmers market THIS WEEKEND and prepare to be amazed.

PicStich

Ingredients

Pesto

  • tops from one bunch of carrots, stems removed, rinsed and dried well
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves

Sandwiches

  • carrots from one bunch, left whole, rinsed but not peeled, root and stems cut off (although my carrots were stubby little guys, I think any carrot will work perfectly fine, as long as they come with the greens attached)
  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 8 slices of bread (I used my go-to sandwich bread, Ezekiel)
  • butter
  • 12 ounces soft, fresh (un-aged) Asiago cheese, slices thin or shredded (I found it easier to slice it, since it was so soft)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Toss whole carrots with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the carrots and your preference.  I find raw carrots revolting, so I cooked my stubby little guys for 25 minutes, until they were pretty soft, but not collapsing.
  3. While carrots roast, make pesto.  Place greens, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor.  Pulse until creamy and pesto-y.  Set aside.
  4. Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread.  Spread pesto on the OPPOSITE side of FOUR of the slices.  Add 1/8 of the cheese to the four pesto-topped slices.
  5. Thinly slice the roasted carrots.  Top each of the four pesto/cheese slices with 1/4 of the carrots.  If you used huge carrots, you may not want to use them all.  You’re looking for a single layer of carroty goodness.  Add remaining cheese and then the remaining 4 slices of bread, with butter facing out.
  6. Heat a grill pan, cast iron skillet, or regular skillet over medium heat.  Add sandwiches and grill on one side until bread is browned and cheese is getting melty, about 3-5 minutes.  Carefully flip the sandwiches and grill 3-5 more minutes, until fully melty and delicious.

Serves 4.

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One Response to Roasted Carrot Grilled Cheese with Carrot Top Pesto

  1. Had no idea you could eat carrot tops! This is awesome! I have some of those in my garden right now too! 😉

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