I have had an image of a sandwich I saw on a beautiful blog here stuck in my head for awhile. I thought using carrot greens to make a pesto was so enticing. Unfortunately, I rarely have carrot greens in the house because we eat a lot of carrots. I buy carrots by the 10 pound bag... and these babies come without greens. I decided to make my own version on black bread, you can make your own the the recipe here. Although, any rustic bread will do so tastefully here. I made a pesto from arugula, thyme, garlic, lemon, parmesan, and walnuts. A soft goat cheese goes nicely with this combination but extra parmesan would do as well.
Carrots are a happy thing for me. Just look at em'. They are all orange, sometimes yellow, or if you are really lucky, purple! I've seen intwined carrots where two carrots became lovers and curled around each other under the soil. Not to mention the fact that they are roots! Carrots have numerous health benefits but none so widely spoken about as the benefits for the eyes. Carrots even provided an coverup for the initial use of radar technologies in war planes during the Battle of Britain. The Brits claimed that the consumption of carrots was responsible for their ability to shoot down German planes in the dark, instead of the new radar technologies. So maybe if you eat enough of these fancy grilled cheese... you'll see in the dark! Here is a posting I did about carrots with more interesting tid-bits about carrots.
Recipe (2 sandwiches + extra pesto)
Carrots - Enough to cover two sandwiches with a flat layer (depends on the carrots)
Olive Oil - 3TB
Parmesan - 2TB grated
Walnuts - heaping 1/8cup
Arugula - 1 cup packed
Fresh Thyme - 2TB
Garlic - 2-3 cloves
Lemon Juice - 1/2 of a lemon
Goat Cheese - a few tablespoon to spread on the sandwich (I used about 2-3TB)
Salt and Pepper - to taste
Butter - 1.5 TB
4 slices of rustic bread of choice - toasted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim the carrots if need be, you want each stick to be about equal thickness for even cooking. Toss carrots in 1TB of olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Roast in an oven for about 15-20 minutes, until they are soft and start to color. While the carrots are roasting, place walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in oven for no more than 5 minutes. Just until they are lightly toasted. Place arugula, walnuts, parmesan, garlic, thyme, remaining olive oil, lemon juice, and salt/pepper into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Adjust with salt/pepper or olive oil as needed.
Toast bread and spread with goat cheese on one side. Layer carrots on top of goat cheese; cutting the carrots into segments to fit the bread as needed. Spread desired amount of pesto on other slice of bread - I was pretty generous with the amount. Melt butter into large skillet on medium low heat and lay sandwiches into the skillet. Grill on each side for a few minutes until slightly browned and heated through.
Can you see in the dark yet?
Store leftover pesto in the refrigerator. Grate dip for raw carrots, sandwich spread, scrambled into eggs, or on pasta.