I am feeling overwhelmed, I freely admit it. Maybe it is the good kind of overwhelmed, where you meet your partner's eyes over the sea of moving boxes and packing tape your once-cute-now-post-apocalyptic apartment is gradually transforming into, and you both shake your heads simultaneously towards one another like, What have we gotten ourselves into? But still. Overwhelmed. There are a lot of details that go into moving house, particularly when you're shifting your personal and working lives, ohhh, just about 2,500 miles to the left. But it's mid-July and it's hot (and the place we're moving to is, gulp, hotter still!) and there are times when I just don't wanna think about it.

Just like I don't wanna think about turning on the oven. One. More. Time. 

Luckily, I am a recipe-obsessed nerd with a whole stash of dinner ideas for emergency situations like this. While admittedly the best and easiest kind of dinner when you don't want to do any cooking with heat is one where you just pull things from the fridge and devour them cold, sometimes when you're this hot and this stressed you need a little comfort. There's not much that's comforting about a dinner that consists of jamming raw carrots into your open mouth. But there's something to be said for silky, lightly sauteed, fork-tender but still firm vegetables draped in rich, earthy pesto made from the tops of the carrots themselves. The perfect summer compromise, this asks for only a few minutes of stovetop heat, no long oven roasting time required. I might just survive this summer yet.

Now, to survive this epic moving trip......

Baby Carrots & Globe Squash with Carrot Top Pesto

Serves 2 moderately hungry people, or 1 insatiably hungry person

First of all, I love that this dish makes excellent use of the beautiful baby carrots I find at my current  neighborhood farmer's market (real baby carrots, imagine that! Not machine-whittled nubs!), but it would be equally splendid using regular-sized 'adult' carrots from the supermarket (the inner twelve-year-old part of myself wants to giggle at both the fact that I inherently enjoy eating babies, and at the idea of NC-17-style 'adult' carrots). Just make sure they've got the gorgeous, feathery green tops still attached for making the pesto, and you may want to slice larger carrots down to size until all your pieces are roughly finger-thickness.

handful of carrot tops (enough to equal half a cup, chopped)
3 T. olive oil, divided
1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. honey
1/4 cup ground almonds (these can be ground in your blender, or you can cheat like me and use the almond meal I also use for my gluten-free baking, which consists of, get this......ground almonds)
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper

1 small bunch of carrots (about half a pound)
1 globe squash (regular zucchini is an easy substitute)

Wash carrot tops and shake dry. Chop roughly until you have about a half cup, then throw that into a blender or food processor. Drizzle with 2 T. olive oil, 1 T. lemon juice and 1 tsp honey, pulse just until it all starts to form a coarse puree. Add ground almonds and minced garlic, pulse a few more times just  to blend. Taste it at this point, add salt and pepper according to your preference.

Scrub baby carrots to remove all traces of dirt (or peel larger carrots & slice into uniform, roughly finger-thick pieces). Slice globe squash into wedges (or zucchini into slices) about 1/4" thick. Heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat, add carrots first and after two minutes add the zucchini. Saute for five more minutes, stirring occasionally. You want these to be the definition of crisp-tender, warmed through and sizzling on the outside, just beginning to soften but still firm when you bite into one.

Serve while still warm, piled loosely on a plate with piles of pesto softening on top. Eat it, sigh, and relax.