Carrot Top Pesto

Carrot Top Pesto

If you've picked up any fresh carrots at the farmers market you've probably received the tops as well. Don't forget, these are food! Commercially, carrots tops are often cut off and left in the field. Historically, carrot tops were an important herb. We like to use these when we can. This is an easy recipe to get the most out of your vegetables. Making a pesto extends the shelf life of these as well. Consider freezing any excess if needed. 


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 Cups pesto

Source: Culinary Vegetable Institute at The Chef's Garden


  • 1 cup carrot tops (tough stems and blemished leaves removed)
  • 1 cup spinach or beet greens  (tough stems and blemished leaves  removed)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or almonds 
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Rinse the carrot tops from any soil or sand. Pick out and discard any dry, yellowed, or blemished leaves. Discard tough stems or save for stock. 
  • Pulse the greens, garlic, nuts, salt, pepper and lemon in a food processor. Pulse several times. Scrape the sides down with a rubber spatula.
  • Slowly add the olive oil: While the food processor is running, slowly pour in the olive oil in a steady stream. Scrape the sides down with a rubber spatula. Pulse until smooth.
  • Store refrigerated and use as desired.
  • Consider crackers, flatbreads, vegetable dip, or condiments for roast meat and vegetables.

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