Carrot Top Pesto is a tasty, nutritious way to curb food waste in your kitchen. It comes together in minutes with just a few ingredients and tastes great in a variety of dishes!
If you’ve ever grown your own carrots or bought fresh carrots from a farmer’s market or grocery store, you have probably found that they have a bunch of leafy greens attached to them. Before you throw them out, consider making those fresh carrot greens into a yummy homemade pesto.
This delicious carrot top pesto recipe is one of my favorite ways to save money and keep food out of the trash or compost bin. The tops of carrots are rarely used for recipes, but they are tasty and useful. This is one of my favorite pesto recipes and often crave it even more than traditional pesto!
Can You Eat Carrot Tops?
Yes, carrot tops are edible! Every part of the carrot is edible, though we usually only eat the root, which is the carrot. Carrot tops are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K and they provide a great source of dietary fiber.
What Is Carrot Top Pesto?
Carrot top pesto is a sauce made by blending carrot tops, oil, garlic, some type of nut, and spices together until it is smooth. It is a tasty way to utilize food scraps that are normally thrown away in an easy low-waste recipe.
How to Make Carrot Top Pesto
1. Thoroughly wash and dry your carrot greens in a salad spinner. Remove the leafless ends of the stems if you desire, though this is not a required step. If the carrots are larger they may have tough stems that won’t blend well, but the tops of smaller carrots can be added whole.
2. Combine the carrot greens in a blender (a food processor will also work) with the lemon juice and zest, garlic cloves, walnuts, and red pepper flakes. Add ¼ cup of oil and roughly blend.
3. Continue adding a little more olive oil until a smooth sauce forms and the pesto reaches your desired consistency.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir them in.
5. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to a year. To prevent browning, it is a good idea to pour a layer of olive oil or a little more lemon juice on top of the pesto.
What Do Carrot Tops Taste Like?
As part of the same plant family as parsley, carrot greens taste like a more mild version of parsley. They have a much sweeter flavor than parsley, but the clean, earthy flavor is similar.
This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links, I will earn a small commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my full disclosure here.
What To Eat with Carrot Top Pesto
Carrot top pesto can be used in all the same ways that you would use classic pesto. It is particularly delicious in pasta dishes, sandwiches, salad dressings, marinades, and dips. Pour it over roasted whole carrots for a healthy side dish or dip a slice of crusty bread in it as an appetizer.
Can You Freeze Carrot Top Pesto?
Yes, you can freeze carrot top pesto easily! This recipe is the best way to preserve carrot tops when they are in season and have carrot top pesto for dishes throughout the year.
To Freeze the Carrot Top Pesto:
- Store the pesto in freezer-safe glass jars or freezer bags. Freeze in small quantities so you are able to use the whole serving when it’s thawed.
- Leave 1-2 inches of space below the top of the jar or bag to allow the pesto room to expand during freezing. If you are using a Ball jar, fill to the freeze line.
- Label and freeze the pesto for up to a year for the best results. You can freeze it longer, but it may not taste as fresh.
Nut-Free Carrot Leaf Pesto
While this recipe calls for walnuts, you can certainly make this recipe nut-free by omitting them. The pesto will still be delicious! If you can tolerate pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, they are a great option for adding a nutty flavor without the use of nuts.