Carrot Top Pesto

Carrot Top Pesto is a fun, fresh twist on traditional pesto that incorporates tender carrot greens and basil. It is a bright and delicious pesto that is perfect for springtime!

Top view of a tan bowl with carrot top pesto in it sitting on a wood surface.

Pesto is one of my favorite ways to jazz up my meals in the spring and summer. I'm usually growing an abundance of basil and have a jar of pesto in the fridge at all times.

Over the years, I've made different variations of pesto with fun add-ins like feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and pecans.

This time around, carrot tops make an appearance in my pesto!

Side view of a tan bowl with carrot top pesto in it sitting on a wood surface.

I received a big bunch of carrots in with my CSA delivery, complete with bushy green tops.  As soon as I saw them, I knew that I wanted to mix them into my favorite pesto recipe.

When you bring carrot greens into the mix, the outcome is a bold, bright, delicious pesto sauce.  I know I'll be making every single time carrot tops come my way!

Top view of carrot tops on a wood cutting board.

HOW TO MAKE CARROT TOP PESTO

Carrot top pesto is made by blending together fresh carrot tops (leaves), fresh basil, parmesan cheese, nuts, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, pepper, and salt in a blender or food processor. See below for detailed recipe instructions.

CAN YOU MAKE CARROT TOP PESTO WITHOUT NUTS?

Yes, you can omit the pine nuts. You can also substitute the pine nuts with other nuts such as walnuts, pecans, pistachios, or almonds. I suggest toasting any nut that you use to deepen that nutty flavor.

Collage of four images of carrot top pesto being made.

WHAT TO EAT WITH CARROT TOP PESTO

Carrot top pesto is super versatile! Here are a few ways to enjoy pesto: 
  • toss with pasta
  • as a sandwich spread 
  • as a dip for bread 
  • drizzled over roasted vegetables

CAN YOU FREEZE CARROT TOP PESTO?

Yes, pesto can absolutely be frozen! It's best to freeze pesto in small portions rather than a big block. Try spooning it into ice cube trays to make cubes, then put the cubes into a freezer bag once frozen solid. Take out a few to thaw in a bowl in the refrigerator as you want to use it.

Top view closeup of a tan bowl with carrot top pesto in it sitting on a wood surface.

MORE PESTO RECIPES

Looking for more pesto recipe inspiration? Here are a couple of my favorite pesto recipes from the archives:

If you try this recipe, I'd love to know what you think in the comments below. Enjoy!

6 servings

Carrot Top Pesto


Carrot Top Pesto is a fun, fresh twist on traditional pesto that incorporates tender carrot greens and basil. It is a bright and delicious pesto that is perfect for springtime!

  prep time: cook time: total time: 10 MIN 

INGREDIENTS


1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
2 cups carrot top leaves, packed
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup olive oil
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste


INSTRUCTIONS


1. Heat a small pan over medium-high heat. Add the pine nuts to the pan and toast, stirring frequently for 3 minutes. Remove to a plate to cool.

2. In a food processor, roughly chop the pine nuts and garlic.

3. Add the carrot tops, basil, and lemon juice to the food processor and pulse until everything is chopped into small pieces. Pulse in the parmesan cheese.

4. With the machine on, slowly add the olive oil through the hole in the lid/top until it is incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

NOTES


When preparing your carrot tops, be sure to remove any of the thick stemmy pieces and use just the leaves and thin stems.

Author: Becky


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