This is a lovely summer dish which uses the whole carrot from root to shoot. It looks pretty with multicoloured heirloom carrots, but will work just as well with orange ones. Ensure you remove the tops straight away once you’ve bought your veg, otherwise the leaves continue to take the goodness out of the roots and you’ll end up with soft, bendy carrots.
Tarragon Heirloom Carrots with Carrot-top Hazelnut Pesto & Lemon Crème Fraîche on Sourdough
Dietary: Vegan | Serves 4
Prep Time: 35 mins | Cook Time: 30 mins
For the tarragon heirloom carrots
- 8 heirloom carrots (use various colours)
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
- 3 sprigs of tarragon
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns, crushed
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp white wine
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus extra for frying
For the carrot-top hazelnut pesto
- 75g roasted hazelnuts
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 75g carrot tops, roughly chopped, plus extra leaves for decoration
- 25g basil, roughly chopped
- 100ml olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 1 tsp apple juice concentrate
For the lemony crème fraîche
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 100ml crème fraîche (we used Oatly)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- To make the tarragon heirloom carrots, preheat the oven to 200CFan. Wash and peel the carrots, reserving the peelings.
- Cut the carrots in half down their length and place on a baking tray inside a large piece of baking paper.
- Scatter the coriander seeds, tarragon and peppercorns all over, and add the water, wine and oil. Fold the baking paper up to cover the carrots tightly, making sure they are sealed in. Bake for 30 minutes, then leave to cool in the parcel.
- To make the pesto, grind the hazelnuts roughly in a food processor, or in a pestle and mortar, then decant into a bowl and set aside.
- Blend up the garlic, carrot tops and basil with the olive oil, and purée just enough to break up the herbs. Stirin the lemon juice, vinegar, apple juice concentrate and ground hazelnuts, then taste and season.
- To make the lemony crème fraîche, dry- fry the coriander seeds and grind to a fine powder. Stir into the crème fraîche with lemon juice, and add salt to taste.
- When the carrots are cool, open the parcel and remove them from the baking paper. Fry the carrot peelings in a little rapeseed oil until crisp, then drain on paper towel.
- Grill the slices of sourdough. Spread the pesto on the toast, top with the carrots and drizzle with the lemony crème fraîche. Decorate with the crispy, fried carrot peelings and extra carrot top leaves.
Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.
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