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Ivan Kamenev

Photo: Courtesy of Chef Ivan Kamenev

Young Carrots with Leaf Pesto and Labneh Cheese

Chef Ivan Kamenev won the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Social Responsibility Award for the Euro Asia Region.

04 December, 2020
Average: 3 (21 votes)

serves for


total time

1 HR 0 MIN


Baby carrots
400- 500 g
80 ml
300 g
Pine nuts
40 g
Black pepper
Carrot top's pesto
Carrot tops
Lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil
70 g
Pine nuts
30 g, Baked
Black pepper

This recipe uses freshly-picked carrots from the garden, but they can also be found at the market - they are sold throughout the summer-autumn season. Choose carrots with bright green tops to make the pesto tasty and bright in colour. In addition to useful properties, carrot tops have an extraordinary, slightly spicy flavour that combines perfectly with many other ingredients, so they can be used in the preparation of first and second courses, as well as salads, cutlets and salted pies. Carrot tops contain selenium, which is one of the most powerful antioxidants. Carrot greens contain 500 times more vitamins and micro-elements than the root vegetable itself. The high content of biologically active substances makes carrot tops a valuable ingredient.

Step 01

labneh curd cheese

Photo: Courtesy of Chef Ivan Kamenev

To make labneh curd cheese, add salt to the yogurt and place it on a sieve lined with gauze and refrigerate it overnight, or you can just use soft curd cheese for this recipe.

Step 02


Photo: Courtesy of Chef Ivan Kamenev

First, process the carrots - cut the tops and soak the carrots in warm water. Sort the tops and select juicy and green carrot leaves. The carrot tops are too tough, so they need to be removed. The carrot leaves must be well washed from possible dust and earth residues. Then, wash the carrots using a clean dishwashing sponge. Cut the carrots in half, season with olive oil and salt, put on a baking sheet covered with parchment and bake in the oven at 160 degrees for 25-30 minutes until the carrots are soft.

Step 03

carrots baked

Photo: Courtesy of Chef Ivan Kamenev

Along with the carrots, you can bake pine nuts - bake them at the same temperature for 5 minutes.

Step 04

tops for the pesto

Photo: Courtesy of Chef Ivan Kamenev

In the meantime, prepare the tops for the pesto. You will need a pot of boiling water and a bowl of ice water. Add a pinch of baking soda to the boiling water to help maintain the green colour of the tops. Using a sieve, dip the tops in boiling water for 30 seconds, then place them in the ice water.

Step 05

preparing pesto

Photo: Courtesy of Chef Ivan Kamenev

Squeeze the excess moisture out of the tops and start making pesto. In a mortar, combine the garlic clove, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Add half the olive oil and mash thoroughly. Then add the chopped greens and the remaining oil. Mash to a pulp, if necessary.

Step 06


Photo: Courtesy of Chef Ivan Kamenev

When the carrots are ready, you can start serving.

Place the cheese and funnel in the centre of the plate, top with the carrots, a tablespoon of pesto and sprinkle with baked pine nuts.

Enjoy your meal.

Step 07

The final dish

Photo: Courtesy of Chef Ivan Kamenev

The final dish.

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