Doesn’t this salad just seem like something the Easter bunny would love?

Spring Pea and Carrot Salad with Carrot Top Pesto | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I mean, I know the Easter bunny may not be real 🙁  But if he was, I think he’d devour this salad.

How could he not, it’s full of carrots and fresh spring peas, which we all know are a bunny’s favorite! Ok ok, maybe some chocolate too. Duh. 🙂

So here’s the deal, you all know I am just not into boring salads. Like if I am going to eat a salad, it’s going to be full of goodness, cheese and carbs. Always, always cheese and carbs. No other way to do a salad in my opinion. So while today’s salad is still light, healthy and fresh, it also contains my three must haves: veggies, carbs and cheese. This Spring Pea and Carrot Salad has crunchy veggies (like carrots, snap peas and watercress), toasted ciabatta croutons and feta cheese (and some parmesan in the pesto!). It’s also tossed with one of my favorite things, pesto. But instead of just throwing out those pretty carrot greens, I turned them into my pesto. May sound kind of odd, but you guys I promise it’s actually really good, plus you don’t waste any food.

SCORE!

Spring Pea and Carrot Salad with Carrot Top Pesto | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest Spring Pea and Carrot Salad with Carrot Top Pesto | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest Spring Pea and Carrot Salad with Carrot Top Pesto | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Soo, I am sure you’ve noticed, but the theme for this week is all things Easter. I started off with a main course of fun Greek Lamb Skewers, moved on to Easter brunch with a KILLER cream cheese stuffed raspberry French toast and now it’s time for some sides.

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Typically my family doesn’t get it together early enough for an Easter Brunch or lunch, usually it’s an Easter dinner. For the Easters we have spent in Florida, my grandma will usually cook a ham with plenty of side salads, potatoes and dessert.

Always dessert! Nonnie makes a really cute bunny cake that someday she needs to teach me how to make!

OH and plenty of cheese too! My grandma makes some killer cheeseboards. She taught me everything I know about how to create a stunning cheeseboard!

Anyway, my point in all this rambling is that I think this is the first year my family and I will be here in Colorado together for Easter. No Florida (enter major sad face here 🙁 ), no snowboard trips, and no work trips. There were a couple of years when I was home, but my family was gone with Red for some snowboard competition or something like that. This year though, more than half the family will be here. Even Kai gets in that day for his spring break. The missing members of the family will be Creighton (Cleveland), Red (Snowboard Mag photo shoot at Big Bear) and Brendan…although you never know with Bren, he could show up at any moment!

FUN FACT: pretty sure mom has ordered some Malley’s chocolate (aka the bestest chocolate ever) to MAKE our baskets super delish. YEAHH! ? ?

What does all this mean??

Easter dinner is all on me this year! Not that, that’s a big deal or anything…my family is so low-key it’s insane.

Spring Pea and Carrot Salad with Carrot Top Pesto | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Like I said, main course for dinner is covered, Saturday brunch is covered (Easter celebration for Red who has to leave on Sunday) drinks are sooo covered, and now we just need a side…or two…check back tomorrow for that…and one more chocolatey dessert to go along with this pretty cake and this carroty cheesecake.

I know, I know, it’s kind of a lot of food, but that’s the way I like it! Crossing my fingers that my mouth is all back to normal by Sunday. It’s still pretty sore, but getting less sore with each day!

Alright, but this salad. It’s so simple, but soo good. Perfect for a light brunch salad or a light dinner salad. You can prepare it in advance for easy entertaining, and I mean, come on, it’s pretty dang gorgeous too! That’s always a plus in my book.

One important thing though. Don’t skip out on those homemade croutons. Not only are they so easy to make, but um, they are DELICIOUS. Like I said, a good salad always has some carbs and some cheese, never just greens.

Gotta have balance, you know?! 🙂

Question: What are you guys doing this Sunday for Easter?!?

Spring Pea and Carrot Salad with Carrot Top Pesto | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest Spring Pea and Carrot Salad with Carrot Top Pesto | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest
Spring Pea and Carrot Salad with Carrot Top Pesto | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest
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The Recipe

Spring Pea and Carrot Salad with Carrot Top Pesto.

*This salad can be assembled up to 1 day in advance. Just add the watercress, herbs and toasted bread just before serving so they do not wilt/get soggy. You can choose to toss the salad with the pesto and let it sit in the fridge and marinate (which I think is delish) OR you can add the pesto just before serving.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 0 SERVES 4-6 AS A SIDE

Ingredients

Carrot Top Pesto

  • 2 cups carrot top greens can sub 2 cups fresh arugula or baby kale
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (pistachios almonds or pumpkin/sunflower seeds will also work)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan omit if vegan
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste

Pea and Carrot Salad

  • 1 pieces loaf ciabatta or sourdough french bread torn into bite size (use gluten free bread if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced or grated
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 3 carrots cut into ribbons or sliced thin
  • 2 cups fresh snap peas
  • 2 cups fresh watercress or baby spinach
  • handful of fresh parsley or mint I used a combo of both
  • 8 ounces feta cheese crumbled (omit if vegan)

Instructions

Carrot Top Pesto

  1. In the bowl of a food processor or high powered blender, combine the carrot top greens, basil and pine nuts. Pulse until finely chopped. With the machine still running, drizzle in the olive oil. Add the parmesan, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and season with salt. Taste and add more salt if needed. Pour into a glass jar and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Pea and Carrot Salad*

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. On a large baking sheet, toss the torn bread with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper until all the bread is evenly and well coated. Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, tossing half way through until the bread is golden and toasted.
  3. Meanwhile in a large salad bowl, toss together the carrot ribbons, snap peas, watercress or spinach, and fresh herbs. Add a couple tablespoons of the pesto sauce and toss once more, making sure to evenly coat the veggies. Add the toasted bread and sprinkle on the feta cheese. Serve with the remaining carrot top pesto.
Spring Pea and Carrot Salad with Carrot Top Pesto | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

OK, now lets hop to it. It’s salad time…

Sorry that was SOO cheesy, but I had to. 🙂

PS. Aren’t those baby carrots the cutest? If you can find them I highly recommend tossing them in with your salad, so fun!