Flea Street’s Carrot Pesto Recipe

In the November/December 2018 issue of The National Culinary Review, we delved into the ways trendy chefs are re-inventing the classic pesto. Chef Jesse Cool of Flea Street in Menlo Park, California mixes greens like arugula and basil and basil and mint to yield a more mild flavor than that of the traditional sauce. He also whipped up the below recipe for carrot pesto, which goes great with pasta.

Yields about 1 1/2 cups of pesto



8 ounces carrots, peeled and coarsely sliced

2 ounces red bell pepper

1 medium shallot, peeled/chopped

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

1/8 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 cups and 1/3 cup water, divided

Salt and pepper to taste

Grated Parmesan (Optional)

Parsley and chives (Optional)



  1. In a medium sized sauce pan, bring to boil 3 cups of water.

2. Add carrots, cover with a lid and cook about 20 minutes or when soft tested with the tip of a knife.

3. Remove carrots, reserve cooking water in pot and put the carrots into cold water.  

4. In the same cooking water, cook the red pepper for 5 minutes.

5. Remove the carrots and put into a small bowl.

6. Put the red peppers into the cold water, drain.

7. Put into a blender or high powered processor the cooked carrots and peppers, shallots, pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice and water. Purée until smooth. Add more water if needed to smooth.

8. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with warm pasta, cheese and herbs if desired.



To read the full story from the November/December 2018 issue, subscribe to the print version of the National Culinary Review today.