I made this several weeks ago and then things got crazy at work, my sister got married(!) and then I got sick. Right now I’m glad to be back, feeling myself and so excited to talk about food again. This recipe will make you feel super thrifty, because instead of throwing away those carrot tops you’re going to turn them into a delicious romesco.
Roasted red peppers are usually the base of the Spanish romesco sauce but here I used carrot tops. It could be classified as a pesto but I left out the cheese so I think it’s a little more romesco-y then pesto-y. Carrot tops are similar to basil. On their own, the flavor is intense and somewhat bitter but when softened and sweetened with olive oil they open up and taste completely different. I found these beautiful carrots at my grocery store and the vibrant multicolors made me snatch them up. This recipe is easy and comes together quickly.
Roast Pork and Carrot Top Romesco
1 pork tenderloin
Salt and Pepper
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled
For the Romesco:
2 cups carrots tops
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
Special Equipment Needed: Food Processor
Preheat oven to 450 deg F. Toast pine nuts on the stove over medium heat. You can do this in the oven but I prefer the stove where I can see, smell and ensure they won’t burn. Toss the pine nuts in the pan occasionally and cook until just beginning to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat 1 TBSP olive over medium high heat. Sear the tenderloin on all sides until golden brown about 2-4 minutes per side. Meanwhile chop tops off your carrots and toss with other 1 TBSP of olive oil. Roast in the oven until tender, 10-15 minutes. Once the pork is browned, add it with the carrots to the oven and roast until it registers 145 deg F, approximately 8-10 minutes.
For the romesco add all ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor. Add half the olive oil and process. Slowly add the rest until the sauce is smooth and creamy. You may not need all the olive oil depending on the texture of the carrot tops.