Carrot Pancakes and Green Garlic with Carrot Top Pesto
Source: Frances Wilson, The Field Kitchen
Recipe Type: Entrees | Seasons: Spring
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on March 26, 2017.
In place of carrots, you could substitute a mixture of root vegetables such as parsnips, turnips, and rutabagas. This recipe also works well with chopped cauliflower.
Makes 4-6 servings
Carrot Top Pesto
¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
½ cup young carrot tops (from carrots in recipe below)
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon finely chopped green garlic
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
2 tablespoons freshly grated Achadinha Capricious Cheese (or Pecorino)
2 tablespoons finely chopped, lightly toasted walnuts
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1½ pounds carrots
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 bulb green garlic, white and pale-green parts only, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 large eggs
¾ cup chickpea flour
1 teaspoon ground coriander
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
4 ounces Achadinha fromage blanc (or another fromage blanc)
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon), for garnish
1 recipe Carrot Top Pesto (see above)
Flaked smoked trout or salmon, for garnish (optional)
To make the carrot top pesto: In a small pan, toast the coriander seeds over medium heat just until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool before grinding to a fine powder in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.
Fill a large bowl with cold water to clean the carrot tops thoroughly. Remove them from the water and pat dry or spin them dry in a salad spinner. Chop the carrot tops and parsley finely.
In a medium bowl, combine the carrot tops and parsley with the orange zest, the zest of the lemon, green garlic, and toasted coriander seeds. Stir in the olive oil. Season with salt to taste. Allow to stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Add the Capricious cheese, toasted chopped walnuts, vinegar, and the juice from half of the lemon to the carrot-top mixture just before serving. To make the pancakes: Peel and grate the carrots on a box grater or in a food processor.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat.
Add the green garlic, season with kosher salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is soft and just starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a small plate. Wipe out pan and reserve to cook the pancakes.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, ½ cup of water, chickpea flour, 1 tablespoon of oil, and ½ teaspoon of kosher salt in a medium bowl; season with pepper and let sit for 5 minutes for the flour to hydrate. Stir in the chopped herbs, green garlic, and carrots into batter just to coat.
Heat 1½ tablespoons of oil in reserved skillet over medium-high heat. Add batter by the ¼-cupful to make 4 pancakes, gently flattening to about ¼” thick. Batter should spread easily—if it doesn’t, thin with a little water before you cook the next batch of pancakes. Cook until bottoms are crispy and browned, about 4 minutes. Use a spatula to carefully flip pancakes over and cook until browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Repeat with another 1½ tablespoons oil and remaining batter.
Season the fromage blanc with a little salt and pepper.
Serve pancakes, sprinkle with a little Maldon salt, top with fromage blanc, carrot top pesto, and smoked fish (if using).