Carrot Top Pesto Recipe

5 from 22 votes
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Don’t throw away those carrot tops! Turn them into a delicious carrot top pesto to enjoy with pasta, grains, vegetables, or as a dip. Such a quick and easy recipe!

Carrot top pesto in a bowl and in a spoon

I love pesto and include it in a lot of my recipes so experimenting with new varieties is always fun. Homemade pesto is not only super delicious but I like being 100% in control of how much oil, cheese, etc. goes into the recipe. And to top all of that, by using the carrot leaves, I am reducing food waste too. So this carrot top pesto recipe is a winner.

If you wonder what carrot greens taste like – they are similar to parsley as they are in the same plant family. They have a slightly bitter but carroty flavor and you can easily add them to other dishes, not just to this pesto.

Did you know that I used this recipe on my episode of Crazy Delicious on Netflix? All the judges loved it!

Ingredients

Ingredients for carrot top pesto
  • Carrot tops: Keep those feathery carrot greens from your spring carrots! The whole bunch of them. You could also add some basil or other herbs to your liking.
  • Parmesan cheese: I love
  • Nuts: I love adding pine nuts and pistachios. You can experiment with your choice – for example, swap out the pistachios for walnuts or cashews.
  • Garlic:
  • Seasoning: EVOO, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. You can also add a green chili for heat.

How to make carrot top pesto

Prep the ingredients: To make the carrot greens pesto, first remove the tops from the carrots. Rinse them thoroughly to get rid of any dirt and then separate the feathery leaves from the stalks, as the stalks are bitter. If needed, grate the parmesan and juice the lemon.

Blend the pesto: First, in a food processor/blender, pulse the nuts to a crumbly consistency. Then, add the parmesan, garlic clove, olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper and quickly blitz again. Finally, add in the carrot tops and blend until you obtain the consistency you like. The general rule is that the longer you blend, the smoother the pesto. If you are finding it a bit too thick for your liking, feel free to add an extra slug of oil.

Steps for making pesto in a small food processor

Taste test the carrot leaf pesto and adjust any of the seasonings to your liking. Then serve and enjoy! You can use it in various recipes including with pasta and grains, in salads, to top your roasted vegetables, and to spread on a sandwich. You can also serve it as a dip alongside crackers, vegetable crudités, and more.

A small bowl with carrot top pesto

Watch how to make it

If you try this carrot leaves recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Carrot Top Pesto Recipe

5 from 22 votes
By: Samira
Don't throw away those carrot tops! Turn them into a delicious carrot top pesto to enjoy with pasta, grains, vegetables, or as a dip. Such a quick and easy recipe!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 16 servings

Ingredients 
 

  • 1.5 cups carrot leaves stems removed
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice from 1 large lemon
  • 1 green chili de-seeded – optional

Instructions 

  • Remove the tops from the carrots. Rinse them thoroughly and then separate the feathery leaves from the stalks.
    If needed, grate the parmesan and juice the lemon.
  • In a food processor/blender, blitz the nuts to a crumbly consistency
  • Add the parmesan, garlic clove, olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper and quickly blitz again.
  • Add in the carrot tops and blend until you obtain the consistency you like. The longer you blend, the smoother it will be.
    Taste test and adjust any of the seasonings, then serve and enjoy!

Video

Notes

To store: Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Alternatively, freeze in individual portions in ice cube trays. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months. When needed, thaw to room temperature before using or place directly in the pan with your other pasta sauce ingredients. 
Check the blog post for serving suggestions! 
Course: DIYs, Side
Cuisine: Italian
Freezer friendly: 6 Months
Shelf life: 5 Days

Nutrition

Serving: 1Tbsp, Calories: 115kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 96mg, Potassium: 64mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 40IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 62mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

5 from 22 votes (22 ratings without comment)

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