It’s quite by accident that I am featuring a recipe for Carrot Tops Basil Pesto today. You see I can be a dumb gardener at times. In my haste to get some carrot seeds into the garden I did not quite spread the seeds far enough apart. Truth is I didn’t even try. It was an outdated package of seeds and I had no expectations of any of the seeds germinating. I just tore open the seed packet, shook it over some dirt and hoped to get a couple of carrots.
Ha! The joke is on me. Hundreds of seeds germinated and it was clear there would be no carrots unless I thinned the heard. As I pulled, the carrots tops emitted the most lovely fragrance. My nose advised my mouth to take a bite of the lush greenery and the rest is history. Fresh pesto coming up.
Needless to say, this carrot tops concoction is delicious on pizza, pasta and sandwiches. I simply tossed all the ingredients into a food processor including a few things that you might not find typical to pesto. Since carrot tops are light and sweet I knew I would need to balance them out. While roasted pistachio nuts added a rich texture, a little fresh lemon juice added a bright acidity to make the perfect blend.Print
Carrot Tops Basil Pesto
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 cup 1x
carrot tops basil pesto is easy delicious on pizza, pasta or as a sandwich spread
1 clove garlic
1 cup packed carrot tops including stems
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons roasted pistachio nuts
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (or to your desired consistency)
- In food processor with metal blade, drop garlic through feed tube while processor is running. Add carrot tops, basil and nuts; pulse until chopped. Add lemon juice, cheese and salt; pulse until mixed in. With processor running add enough oil to create a smooth paste.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Category: healthy
- Method: food processor
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: fresh pesto, carrot tops, condiment, Italian food, gardening mishap
Now, if you are not a gardener and wondering where to get fresh carrot tops…head to your nearest farm stand or organic grocer. You may never make the classic pesto again.
Very interesting Lisa and great information!!!! I’ll try it….someday!!
Thanks for stopping by Ronna and for commenting. I so appreciate you being here. I hope you give the carrot top pesto a try.
I think the ratio of basil to carrot tops will result in a more bitter flavor profile – i found I needed half carrot tops half basil before it found a balance point. I used 1 tbsp of miso instead of salt and I like the result. The lemon is a nice touch – brightened up the final result.
This is a really well thought out idea. I love the addition of miso. Did you use white miso? When I created this recipe I used very young carrot tops as I was thinning my garden. The carrot tops were quite sweet without bitterness. If you are using more mature grown tops from fully grown carrots I imagine they could be bitter. Thank you for explaining how you made adjustments. I really do appreciate it.