Food and Drink

Maximize the freshness of the season with this pasta salad featuring carrot tops, chickpeas and mozzarella

Fresh new carrots are popping up at our local markets along with snow turnips and lots of tender herbs. A quick blitz of the tops along with basil and mint are the base for this summer salad, delicious at room temp or chilled. This comes together even faster if using leftover cooked pasta. Serve as a light main course lunch or bring to a picnic or as part of a larger feast. Change out the herbs to suit your tastes and add everything from smoked salmon or smoked black cod to canned tuna, canned beans, and olives and radishes. — Kim Sunée

Serve warm, room temp, or chilled,

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 bunches small, new carrots with tops/2 cups packed (3-4 ounces) tops and about 8 ounces carrots

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves or 1/2 cup basil and 1/2 cup fresh mint of cilantro leaves

12 ounces dried orecchiette or other small-shaped pasta such as orzo or macaroni or farfalle

2/3 cup nuts such as walnuts, Marcona almonds, or pecans, lightly toasted (optional)


2 to 3 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons white or red wine or champagne vinegar or lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or pecorino Romano (optional)

3 to 4 tablespoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish

1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas

6 to 9 ounces mozzarella balls or slices or feta

1 small bunch tender baby arugula or mixed greens/about 1 cup

Optional additions/garnishes: thinly sliced snow turnips, radishes, smoked salmon, olives, capers, flake salt, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh herbs

• Rinse and dry (preferably using a salad spinner) carrot tops and herbs. Lightly toast nuts, if desired. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until a little bit more than al dente. If desired, blanch carrots with the pasta for the last few minutes so they are just tender.

• While pasta is cooking, place prepared carrot tops and herbs in bowl of a food processor. Add nuts, garlic, vinegar, scant 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Pulse a few times to combine. Add grated cheese, if using. With processor running, gradually add oil and pulse until blended but not puréed. Drain pasta in a colander in sink and run cool water over; add chickpeas to colander to drain with pasta. Toss cooked and drained pasta and chickpeas with carrot top mixture in a large mixing/serving bowl. Add cooked carrots, if using, and stir together. Note: Can be made one day ahead. Chill, covered, until ready to serve. When ready to serve, taste and adjust seasoning. Tear mozzarella and add to bowl; serve topped with fresh baby arugula, flake salt, and a drizzle of good olive oil and more fresh herbs.

Kim Sunée

Kim Sunée is a bestselling author ("Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home," "A Mouthful of Stars," "Everyday Korean: Fresh, Modern Recipes for Home Cooks") and a former magazine food editor. She's based in Anchorage. For more food and travel, visit