Carrot Top Pesto

Fresh, Fabulous, and Frugal - Carrot Top Pesto!

Carrot Top Pesto

Remember when the checker at the supermarket would ask if you would like her to remove the tops from your carrots? With one swift twist, those unruly tops were separated from the orange roots, and unceremoniously placed in the trash can at her feet.

What took us so long to realize that the tops have taste, and nutrition? And value. The feathery green tops of carrots taste a bit like parsley laced with carrot flavor. They make an excellent pesto, can be sautéed in a blend with other greens, or chopped and used as part of an herb garnish.

Fresh, Fabulous, and Frugal - Carrot Top Pesto!

I recently returned from a spectacular trip to Alaska where I had the absolute pleasure of getting to know Chef Brenda. She is an artist in the galley – a master of multiple cuisines. Her dishes are fresh and creative, and synergistic – she has ability to put together magical meals where the food is enhanced by the mood and the environment, and vice versa. She can fillet a whole king salmon as expertly as she bakes mouth-watering pastries and stunning cakes.

Chef Brenda

One night on our trip, Brenda paired a slow-roasted brisket with a delightful side dish of roasted carrots with a carrot top pesto. I recreated her recipe at home, it is my pleasure to share it here… 

Chef Brenda’s Carrot Top Pesto Recipe

Fresh, Fabulous, and Frugal - Carrot Top Pesto!

Chef Brenda’s Carrot Top Pesto

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • tops of 7 fresh smallish carrots
  • 5 leaves of kale ( I prefer Dino) with stalk removed
  • 15-20 basil leaves
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1 cup pecans
  • dash of honey (offsets slight bitterness)
  • 2 oz. Parmesan, grated
  • 2 oz. Manchego, grated
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Fresh, Fabulous, and Frugal - Carrot Top Pesto!
Combine all ingredients except cheese and oil, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Once everything is blended together, add the cheese, then stream in the oil with the processor running. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Carrot Top Pesto
Serving Suggestions

Fresh, Fabulous, and Frugal - Carrot Top Pesto!
THUMBELINA CARROTS – Slice thumbelina carrots in half vertically. Toss with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast carrots in a 350° oven until tender and starting to caramelize, about 25 minutes. Serve with carrot top pesto.

Organic Rainbow Carrots, Carrot Top Pesto

ORGANIC RAINBOW CARROTS ~ Toss with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast in a 350° oven until tender, about 20 – 25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the carrots. Dress with carrot top pesto.

Carrot Top Pesto, Brown Rice Noodles, Thumbelina Carrots

BROWN RICE NOODLES ~ Toss gluten-free Brown Rice Noodles with carrot top pesto. Serve with roasted thumbelina carrots. Garnish with a carrot top sprig.

Food Network




You might enjoy taking a peek at other pesto recipes from some fabulous bloggers below …Summer Soiree is a season long franchise where Food Network editors team up with bloggers to share recipes about everyone’s favorite summer dishes. Be sure to check out the Pinterest Board with over 300,000 followers called Let’s Pull Up A Chair!

The Lemon Bowl: Lemony Pistachio Basil Pesto
Dishin & Dishes: Kale Pesto and Mushroom Stuffed Porterhouse Chops
Creative Culinary: Pesto Potato Salad with Parmesan Walnuts
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Garden Salad With Basil-Pesto Vinaigrette
Red or Green: Corn On The Cob With Basil-Jalapeno Vinaigrette
Homemade Delish: Spinach and Kale Pesto
Domesticate Me: Ratatouille Quinoa Bake with Pesto and Buffalo Mozzarella
Taste with the Eyes: Fresh, Fabulous, and Frugal – Carrot Top Pesto
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Chicken Breasts with Coconut and Cilantro Pesto
Healthy Eats: Green Is the New Black: 5 Must-Try Pestos
FN Dish: 6 Non-Pasta Ways to Go Big with Pesto

11 thoughts on “Carrot Top Pesto”

  1. Oh Lori – this is wonderful! I had no idea the carrot tops were even edible 🙂 ! Something totally new for me!! And I do love your travel photos . . even if they do make one look and feel somewhat green in the face!!!

  2. I’ve suspected that you can use them, but I have to admit I’ve always thrown out my carrot tops when I get home… Now I know better!

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