Scallops with Carrot Top-Pistachio Pesto and Carrot Gastrique

Jay Lippin

Crabtree's Kittle House, Chappaqua, NY

This elegant dish delivers many layers of carrot—bottoms roasted, juice turned into a delicate gastrique, tops blended into a bright pesto—paired with seared scallops and crunchy pistachios for an exploration of the flavors and textures of the hearty root vegetable.


Roasted Baby Carrots:

  • 1 bunch small carrots, tops reserved
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Carrot Gastrique:

  • 2 cups (about 16 fluid ounces) carrot juice
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar

Carrot Top-Pistachio Pesto:

  • 1 bunch carrot tops, cleaned and blanched, large stems removed (about 2 ounces of greens)
  • 1/4 bunch dill
  • 1/2 cup toasted pistachios
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 2 pounds sea scallops (about 20 scallops, or 5 scallops per entrée serving)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Delicate carrot sprigs for garnish

Scallop shells reserved for serving


Make the roasted carrots: preheat the oven to 375°F. Place all the ingredients together on a baking sheet. Mix well to ensure that the carrots are seasoned evenly. Roast the carrots in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until tender.

Make the carrot gastrique: place all the ingredients in a saucepot over medium heat. Cook until the liquid has reduced to a syruplike consistency, about 30 minutes. Set aside until ready to serve.

Make the carrot-top pesto: in a pot of boiling water, boil carrot tops for 30 seconds. Immediately plunge in an ice bath to cool. Drain carrot tops. Put carrot tops, dill, pistachios, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper into a food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (Note: this pesto can be made a day or two in advance.)

Make the scallops: season the scallops with salt and pepper to taste. Add the oil to an ovenproof sauté pan. When the oil is smoking hot, place the scallops in the pan and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes, flip over and cook for 1 more minute.

To serve, place the carrot-top pesto on the shell (if using) or on a plate. Place the scallops on top of the pesto, and a few slices of roasted carrots next to the scallops. Pour the gastrique around the scallops and garnish with the carrot-top sprig.


From Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food by The James Beard Foundation/Rizzoli Publishing.



4 servings

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