A twist on classic basil pesto, this Carrot Leaf Pesto recipe is not only delicious but helps reduce waste! Carrot tops are edible and a great way to make healthy and nutritious meals.
- Are Carrot Greens Edible?
- Are Carrot Tops Healthy?
- More Fresh and Delicious Recipes to Try
- Ingredients Needed to Make Carrot Leaf Pesto
- How to Make Pesto with Carrot Leaves
- Where to Find Carrots with the Tops on
- How to Serve Carrot Greens Pesto
- How long will Homemade Pesto Last?
- Why Carrot Top Pesto is so Great
- Carrot Leaf Pesto
- Did you make this Recipe?
Are Carrot Greens Edible?
Yes! Carrot greens are definitely edible. They smell and taste a little like a carrot. They have a mild bitterness and "green" taste similar to parsley.
Are Carrot Tops Healthy?
Yes, not only are they edible, they are healthy too! They are rich in nutrients, containing around six times more vitamin C than the carrot itself, as well as calcium and potassium to name a few.
More Fresh and Delicious Recipes to Try
- Healthy Shrimp Ceviche
- Gluten-Free Chicken Broccoli Quinoa Bake
- Baked Chile Rellenos
- Simple Whole Roasted Chicken
- Easy French Onion Soup
Ingredients Needed to Make Carrot Leaf Pesto
Remember to adjust the quantities of the ingredients based on your personal preferences and desired consistency. Enjoy your carrot leaf pesto!
Garlic: Garlic is a popular ingredient in many pesto recipes, fresh garlic is always best. It adds a pungent and slightly spicy flavor to the pesto.
Walnuts: Walnuts are commonly used in pesto recipes as they add a rich, nutty flavor and a slightly crunchy texture. If you don't have walnuts, you can also use pine nuts or almonds as alternatives.
Fresh Carrot Leaves: Carrot leaves are the green, feathery tops of the carrot plant. They have a slightly bitter taste and can be used as a substitute for herbs like parsley or cilantro.
Fresh Basil Leaves: Basil is a classic ingredient in pesto recipes and contributes a sweet, aromatic flavor. It pairs well with the other ingredients and adds freshness to the pesto.
Shredded Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan cheese is a hard, aged cheese with a strong and savory flavor. It provides a salty and umami taste to the pesto.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Olive oil is the base of most pesto recipes and provides a smooth texture and richness to the sauce. Extra virgin olive oil is known for its health benefits, including its high content of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants.
Salt and Pepper: These are used to enhance the flavors in the pesto and should be added to taste. Salt helps to balance the flavors, while pepper adds a subtle spicy kick.
How to Make Pesto with Carrot Leaves
- First, place the garlic and nuts into a food processor and pulse until you get a paste.
- Add the carrot greens, basil, and parmesan cheese and process until everything is nicely combined.
- Drizzle in the olive oil while processing until you get your desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Where to Find Carrots with the Tops on
Some organic grocery stores will have carrots with the tops still attached as well as some farmer's markets. The other option is to grow carrots yourself!
Below is a photo of the multi-colored carrots from my garden this year. While the carrots are in some crazy shapes and sizes, they are delicious and produced a ton of greens!
How to Serve Carrot Greens Pesto
- Put it on the carrots! Roast up your carrots in the oven and add the pesto as a sauce. This is a healthy and delicious side dish.
- Add it to pasta for a burst of fresh flavor.
- Use it to kick up the flavor in your favorite soup.
- Put it on your favorite sandwich.
- Brush it on chicken before baking like this dish below: Baked Chicken Breast with Roasted Carrots and Brussel Sprouts covered in Carrot Greens Pesto!
- Use it as a dip with your favorite fresh veggies, cheese, and crackers.
How long will Homemade Pesto Last?
Homemade pesto will last in the fridge, covered for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Just make sure you use a container with a sealable lid when freezing or a plastic bag made for the freezer. If you make this pesto ahead of time and plan to serve it later in the day, cover it with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pesto to prevent a crust or discoloration from forming.
Why Carrot Top Pesto is so Great
- One of the things I love about Carrot Greens Pesto is that it means there is almost no food waste! I love it when I can use all or almost all of an ingredient.
- As I mentioned, carrot tops offer some great nutritional value and an interesting but mild "green" flavor
- Carrot pesto is very easy to make
- Pesto made from carrot greens is Gluten Free!
- If you want a Vegan option, change out the parmesan cheese with a vegan-friendly cheese substitute.
- Pesto made from carrot greens will complement a variety of dishes including pasta, salads, meat, and more!
- The color of the homemade pesto is amazing!!
- You can use different ingredients to your liking for this pesto recipe like subbing a different nut, a different complimentary herb such as arugula, or adding a little spice with red pepper flakes.
Carrot Leaf Pesto
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 tablespoons walnuts (could also use pine nuts or almonds)
- ½ cup fresh carrot top greens
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, gently packed
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add the garlic and nuts to the food processor and pulse until you get a paste.
- Next, add the carrot greens, basil, and parmesan and continue to process until everything is nicely combined into another paste.
- Drizzle in the olive oil while processing until you get the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- I find that because this recipe has raw garlic if the pesto has a chance to chill in the fridge the spicy garlic flavor tones down a bit. You could also cook the garlic in the olive oil for a minute or two on the stove before adding if you want a milder, sweeter garlic flavor.
- If you like a thinner, sauce-like consistency you may want to add more olive oil or less if you like a thicker pesto.
- If storing this pesto in the fridge before serving, place plastic wrap directly on the surface to avoid a crust or discolorization.
Any nutrition calculations are only estimates using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
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