This is to be the first—of I hope many—spring side dish recipes that I put together this season. I’m always looking for simple sides to complete a meal. I’ll spend hours on Pinterest looking for inspiration, while I’m already cooking the main course. So I decided it would be wise and sensible for me to start creating more of my own. I’ll be taking home whatever ingredients look fresh and try to incorporate one or two key ingredients to make the dish stand out. But I tend to get carried away so we’ll see if I can keep that promise.
Today’s side is brought to you by carrots and Bobo’s Mountain Sugar Wood-fired Vermont Maple Syrup. This robust syrup is sweet and dark and just might have magical powers, I’m still deciding.
Roasted young carrots (young makes it sound sacrificial) with maple syrup and sea salt are delicious enough on their own but I decided to put their leafy green tops to good use by making some carrot top pesto. The carrot greens are somewhat similar in taste to flat-leaf parsley if you’ve never had them. I rough chopped them to make a sort of rustic pesto and added in some fresh grated ginger. The second the pesto hits those hot carrots a heavenly smell permeates the air!
For the pesto I also used spiced candied pecans (regular ones will do just fine) and omitted the cheese entirely. It just didn’t seem necessary. If you can’t find carrots with tops no worries, simply add some fresh grated ginger to the finished product to add some brightness to the dish. Please leave a comment below detailing some of your go-to spring side dishes! I’m always looking for inspiration!
- For the Carrots
- 1 lb. small-ish carrots, peeled and greens trimmed
- 2 Tbsp. Bobo’s Mountain Sugar Wood-fired Vermont Maple Syrup
- 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
- Sea salt
- For the Pesto
- 1 cup chopped carrot greens
- 1 small clove garlic
- ¼- ½ tsp. grated ginger
- 1 Tbsp. chopped candied pecans or other nut
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ tsp. lemon zest
- Sea salt and pepper
- Make the Carrots
- Preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange carrots on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup and a little salt.
- Roast for about 45 minutes—turning once halfway through—until tender.
- If you're not making the pesto, you can top with fresh grated ginger right out of the oven and enjoy!
- Make the Pesto
- Rough chop or use a food processor to puree carrots greens, pecans, and ginger.
- Mix in ginger, lemon zest, and olive oil.
- Season with salt and pepper.