Happy JULY! Summer is in full swing, and I’m here for it. After all, nothing screams summer quite like an epic cold, right? Ha — yes, I’m currently dealing with a cold to rival all colds. Thankfully, I’m on the mend. Between our road trip through Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, as well as my brother-in-law’s wedding in San Diego last weekend, my immune system is tanked. But that’s OK! It’s been the perfect excuse to tune in and slow down. Onward and upward.
Two weeks ago, my husband and I road tripped through Arches National Park, Moab, and a few other extraordinary landscapes in the U.S. About 1,200 miles and a bunch of snacks later, we ended up in San Diego. After the wedding, we drove up the coast and inland, through Bakersfield and Gilroy, to the Bay Area where my parents live. We took a handful of photos and videos during the trip, so I’ll be recapping our drive in the coming weeks — it was truly unforgettable. For the last week, we’ve been in Northern California, working remotely, recouping (I have, anyway), and spending time with my family. Although our trip is unfortunately coming to a close, I’m looking forward to getting back to routine in Denver.
Before we left, I swept through our kitchen in hopes of incorporating any remaining fresh produce and wilted veggies. And that’s precisely how this recipe was born. I knew my indoor basil plant wasn’t going to survive without water, and I had carrot tops that had seen better days. With a little help from some olive oil and my trusty food processor, this carrot top pesto came together in no time. And yes, you can totally add carrot top greens, radish greens, etc. to your pesto. It’s a great way to reduce food waste, slightly elevate the flavor profile, and pack in a few extra nutrients. This recipe is gluten-free and vegan and can be served as a hearty side dish, an afternoon snack, or the focal point of a veggie-centric dinner.
Sweet Potato Fries with Carrot Top Pesto
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 cup loosely packed basil
- 1 cup carrot tops (the greens from approx. 4-5 carrots)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or sub grated parmesan cheese)
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
- sea salt to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Cut sweet potato into wedges, place on baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil and seasonings.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes (or until the sweet potatoes are browned).
- While the sweet potatoes are baking, add all pesto ingredients to your food processor. Process until well-combined. Let sit on the counter.
- Remove fries from the oven, let cool for 5-7 minutes, then generously spoon pesto across the sweet potatoes.
- Store any remaining pesto in an air-tight container in the fridge. This pesto will stay fresh in the fridge for up to one week (pro tip: drizzle remaining pesto with a bit more olive oil to keep the pesto green).