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Roasted Carrot and Beet Salad with Carrot Top Pesto, Pumpkin Seeds and Feta

This salad has the perfect combination of sweetness from the roasted vegetables and salty from the feta. It can be enjoyed warm or room temperature as a side to accompany grilled or roasted meats, fish or poultry, or as an entrée salad with a piece of hearty bread. You can choose to opt out of the carrot top pesto and use store bought if you like, or even a different kind of pesto that you may have on hand. You can also prepare the salad in advance by roasting the vegetables and making the pesto so all you need to do is assemble the salad before serving.
PREP TIME30 mins
COOK TIME25 mins
TOTAL TIME55 mins
COURSE: Side Dish
CUISINE: American
KEYWORD: Holiday Menu Item, Roasted Vegetables, Vegetarian
YIELD: 4 Servings

INGREDIENTS

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 bunch carrots including tops, about 6-8 medium-small carrots
  • 2 medium beets
  • 1/4 cup carrot top pesto (see ingredients below)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 pumpkin seeds
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Pesto Ingredients

  • 1 cup carrot tops, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 cloves roasted garlic (part of whole bulb listed above)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (more if desired)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 425⁰F.
  • While oven is warming up, prepare the vegetables. Remove carrot tops, wash carrots and tops, slice carrots in half lengthwise. Scrub beets and slice into wedges. Toss in half the olive oil and spread out on sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Cut the top of the garlic bulb off and lay on a piece of tinfoil, shiny side up. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and wrap foil. Place garlic parcel on sheet pan with carrots and beets.
  • Roast for 25-30 minutes until carrots and beets are fork tender and caramelized. Set aside and carefully open the foil around the garlic bulb to let cool.
  • Allow garlic to cool before squeezing two bulbs of the roasted garlic from the bulb to make the pesto. Add the carrot tops, pumpkin seeds, and two bulbs of roasted garlic to the bowl of a food processor or blender and process until finely chopped. You may need to stop the motor and scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until the desired thickness is reached. Add more olive oil if needed.
  • Assemble the salad; lay carrots and beets on serving platter, top with pesto and sprinkle with feta and remaining pumpkin seeds. Serve with remaining roasted garlic.

RECIPE NOTES

  • Vegetables and/or pesto can be made ahead of time so the salad can be assembled just before serving.