Carrot top pesto?! Believe it. Walnuts and fresh herbs and olive oil help create a vegan version of traditional pesto that puts to good use what would otherwise be kitchen scraps.
Thanks to this carrot top pesto, there’ll be no more tossing those frilly green carrot tops in the trash. Here’s how you can turn those lovely green carrot tops into something to dress up the carrots they came with. The flavor is slightly peppery, subtly lemony, and entirely something you’ll want again and again. Drizzle it over roasted carrots or pasta or any other thing you’d normally anoint with traditional basil pesto.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Carrot Top Pesto Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 25 M
- Makes 1 cup
- 4 ounces (113 g) trimmed carrot tops (from 1 or 2 bunches carrots)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce or 28 g) walnuts
- 1 ounce (28 g) fresh basil leaves, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 ounce (14 g) fresh mint leaves, chopped (about 1/2 cup), plus more to taste
- 3/4 teaspoon (3 g) sea salt
- 1/2 cup (118 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1. Pull the frilly fronds off the carrot tops from the stems and toss the stems in the compost. (The carrot tops have a firm, chewy texture, but the stems are tough, so don’t use them.) You should have at least 2 ounces (57 g) frilly carrot tops. Wash and dry the greens.
- 2. Pulse the garlic and walnuts briefly in a food processor, then add the carrot greens, basil, mint and the salt and pulse again, scraping down the sides of the container as needed, until the greens are finely chopped. Add the olive oil and lemon juice and process the pesto until it is smooth. (You can cover and refrigerate any leftover carrot top pesto for up to a couple days. The lemon flavor will become more noticeable with time, making it lovely to stir into vinaigrettes.)
Herbed Carrot Top Pesto Variations
- No basil? Try parsley or cilantro along with a few fennel greens instead.