Romanian Lamb Pastramă & Carrot Top Pesto

This is a post that I have wanted to write for a long time.  Long story short, pastramă is a delicious, delicious grilled main course that ought to be more well known (in my opinion.)  Pretty much everyone has had or at least heard of pastrami, and the two share history, but unless you are in a Romanian restaurant you aren’t going to find grilled pastramă.

Lamb Pastrama and Carrot Top Pesto

To make pastramă you must plan a few days ahead, but it is quite easy and fairly quick to actually cook.  Just make a brine/marinade of dry white wine, salt, crushed cloves of garlic, coriander seed, and freshly chopped oregano or thyme.  Then let the lamb soak in it for a few days before grilling.

The other night I grilled pastramă and tried something new for a side dish.  Our supermarket had some gorgeous purple carrots on offer, and I’d grabbed a few bunches.  They came with the tops on, and I vaguely remembered reading a recipe to make use of the greenery.  It took some digging to find the link, and then I was missing an ingredient too.  Rather than sunflower seeds I improvised with tahini.  As usual I did not measure and kind of ignored the ratios given.  For my pesto it was: the most decent looking carrot tops, a few cloves of garlic, two spoonfuls of tahini, the juice from one lemon, a bit of olive oil, and salt.  The carrots were cut up, tossed in olive oil, given a sprinkling of salt, and convection roasted at, ummm… 400 for… a while until done.  More or less.

They turned out to be pretty tasty with the pesto.  🙂

ingredients for pesto


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