Winter is no excuse to neglect your locally grown greens. Kale, mâche, and curly endive take to the cold like a Polar Bear Club to an icy lagoon. And although the arugula that the Greenmarket’s Windfall Farms grows indoors isn’t quite as bursting with sweet, peppery ﬂavor as its late-fall field greens, it’s better than the type you’ll find shipped in from California at any time of the year. Try some puréed into this luscious winter pesto from Ici’s talented new chef, Julie E. Farias, late of 5 Ninth, and summer might not seem so far off.
Ici’s Roasted Carrot Salad with Winter Pesto
2 tablespoons canola oil
salt and crushed black peppercorns
3 thyme sprigs
1/2 cup Gaeta olives, pitted and cut in half
Maldon sea-salt flakes
1 bunch (approximately 1 cup) arugula, tightly packed
1 bunch (approximately 1/2 cup) mint, tightly packed, several leaves reserved and julienned
1/2 cup walnuts
1 clove garlic, center removed
1/4 cup grana padano, grated
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Illustration by John Burgoyne.
For the carrots: (1) Preheat oven to 350. Peel and cut carrots into batons. Toss with canola oil. Season with salt and crushed black peppercorns. Spread evenly on sheet pan lined with foil. Dot with thyme sprigs. Roast on lowest oven rack until carrots are cooked through. Cool to room temperature.
For the pesto: (2) Purée the arugula, mint, walnuts, garlic, grana padano, and olive oil in a blender until you have a thick purée. If too thick, add more olive oil. Once blended, season with salt and pepper and pulse to incorporate. Assemble by tossing carrots with olives and julienne of mint leaves, crushed black peppercorns, and Maldon sea salt.
(3) Drizzle liberally with pesto.