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Monday, August 9, 2021

How to make Carrot Top Pesto, fresh and delicious!

Do you love fresh carrots with soft green tops? Good because I am sharing how to use the tender carrot tops to make pesto! Carrot Top Pesto is the perfect way to enjoy not just the carrots, but also the green tops of the carrots coming from your own garden or the local Farmer's Market! 


Carrots are coming off in the garden right now, and this Carrot Top Pesto is the perfect way to use the lovely green tops! I love making my own pesto, and it is easily made with more than just basil. Carrot tops, radish tops, even fresh parsley all make a delicious pesto. Each has its own flavor personality and that is part of the appeal. 

Pesto can also be quite personal! Some like their pesto made with enough olive oil that the pesto can be drizzled from a spoon. And others like a thicker, sturdier, spoonable version. Carrot Top Pesto can also be made with more or less of any ingredient listed. We prefer a rich pesto and usually use the full measure of the nuts and the cheese. 

It doesn't matter which way you like your pesto, because it pretty much comes down to the amount of oil used in the blending. If you are a drizzler, use the larger amount listed. The nutmeats used also help determine the flavor of the pesto. I have used the traditional pine nuts, but also almonds, and walnuts. Each is delicious in its own way. 

Did you know that carrot tops are very nutritious? It turns out that they are, according to Green Matters they are a significant source of vitamins A, C, and K. Along with calcium and iron. Carrot tops are also rich in dietary fiber and carotenoids. This makes for not only delicious pesto, but a nutritious pesto as well...


For this Carrot Top Pesto, if you love walnuts, by all means, use the larger amount listed, and the same advice goes for the Parmesan cheese. Either way, you will end up with a delicious batch of pest that keeps well in the freezer and can be enjoyed where ever pesto is called for! 

Yes, like many others I store my pesto creations in the freezer. I use glass jars, for storage. Small jas for specialty pesto recipes, and pint jars for pesto that I like to keep a jar of handy, right there in the freezer, ready to use. Keep in mind the more oil used, the softer the pesto will be while frozen. 

It is easy to pull a jar of pesto from the freezer and let it sit for a moment, from there I either spoon out what I need or carefully scrape shavings from the top. A spoonful of pesto is a wonderful flavor to add to vegetable soup, tossed with hot cooked pasta, and spread on chicken thighs before baking. I have no doubt that you too will find countless ways to enjoy your own homemade pesto creations!

Ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • fresh carrot tops
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • pepper
  • salt
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • walnuts

You will also need the following:

  • kitchen knife
  • food processor
  • cutting boards
  • measuring cups 
  • measuring spoons
  • salad spinner
  • freezer storage containers

Now we are ready to begin!



Carrot Top Pesto
adapted from:  Rooted Blessings
makes approximately 2 - 3 cups

5 c organic carrot top leaves - packed
1 to 1 1/2 c olive oil
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 - 1 c walnut halves
5 cloves garlic
fresh ground pepper to taste (I used about 8 "grinds")
1/2 - 1 c Parmesan cheese (yep, the kind in the green can)



Wash the carrot tops in plenty of water, changing as needed to remove the fine grit that might be clinging to them. 



Use a salad spinner to spin dry.  The washed carrot tops can also be drained in a colander then wrapped in toweling to dry. 


Carrot Top Pesto, quickly made in your food processor.

Combine the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. 

Process until smooth, you may need a bit of additional oil to keep the food moving in the processor bowl.


Carrot Top Pesto, stores conveniently in the freezer.

Divide into small containers, or straight-sided glass jars, label, and freeze. 

Use anywhere and on anything (and everything!) calling for pesto, the flavor is bright and delicious.


Carrot Top Pesto, ready to use and enjoy.

Storage options for Carrot Top Pesto. Store frozen, for up to 6 months. Store thawed in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. I do not recommend refreezing thawed pesto. 

UPDATE:  For your convenience, a "copy and paste" version of Carrot Top Pesto has been included below. 

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Printable "copy and paste" version:


Carrot Top Pesto
adapted from:  Rooted Blessings
makes approximately 2 - 3 cups

5 c organic carrot top leaves - packed
1 to 1 1/2 c olive oil
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 - 1 c walnut halves
5 cloves garlic
fresh ground pepper to taste (I used about 8 "grinds")
1/2 - 1 c Parmesan cheese (yep, the kind in the green can)

Wash the carrot tops in plenty of water, changing as needed to remove the fine grit that might be clinging to them. 

Combine the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. 

Process until smooth, you may need a bit of additional oil to keep the food moving in the processor bowl.

Divide into small containers, or straight-sided glass jars, label, and freeze. 

Use anywhere and on anything (and everything!) calling for pesto, the flavor is bright and delicious.

Storage options for Carrot Top Pesto. Store frozen, for up to 6 months. Store thawed in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. I do not recommend refreezing thawed pesto. 

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Would you like to comment?

  1. yes this sounds great. i like to try different nuts and different herbs in my pesto. and i like it oily:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree different greens, herbs and nuts are so fun to play around with when making a pesto. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

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  2. such a good idea. Most people aren't aware that carrot greens are edible. Looks delicious.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, it is bright and delicious! Not to mention frugal, I love making the most of produce when I get it home. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

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  3. ********************************************************
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn
    ********************************************************

    ReplyDelete
  4. Interesting recipe! Thanks so much for linking up with me at my #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 18, open until November 26. Shared.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Looks delicious, Melynda! Pesto is a favorite of mine and the idea of using carrot tops intrigues me. Just may have to give this recipe a try. Thanks for sharing, Suzanne.

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  6. I usually toss the carrot tops (for compost), but now I too am intrigued.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has a lovely (but soft, not overbearing) herb flavor. I love pesto in so many things, but especially in a big bowl of vegetable soup, when it is cold outside!

      Delete
  7. I have never eaten carrot tops. Do they taste like carrots?? I'm going to have to try this recipe - pinned! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party. Hope the rest of your week is amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, not like carrots, just a lovely herb flavor. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  8. I always ask about mostly discarded parts of vegetables. I'm so happy you shared this recipe. Pinning. I'm a pesto girl and have used a variety of nuts but I think Walnuts and Pecans in my pesto are my fav. Can't wait to o try this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I rarely use pine nuts due to the expense. Funny thing, pesto was an inexpensive way to flavor food especially pasta and pine nuts were available for the taking. Now they are quite expensive...thanks for stopping by!

      Delete

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