Carrot Top Pesto

My heart always breaks a little bit when I see the tops of beet greens or carrots chopped off and tossed in the compost or garbage. You would never buy a brand new pair of shoes and rip out the laces and throw them away! But so often we toss out a vital part of the veggie because we don't know what to do with it. 

If you frequent your local farmers market, have a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share, or grow your own garden, then you may have some carrots in your fridge and are wondering what the heck to do with all those carrot greens.

I got you covered…make pesto!

This pesto is an inventive way to use every part of the vegetable. The tender tops are fresh and clean-tasting and mimic the flavor of the carrot itself.

Grab a bunch of carrot greens, pour some wine and enjoy this pesto on anything!! 
Bon appetit.

Carrot Top Pesto


  • 3 pounds small carrots with tops (any color)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tablespoons macadamia nuts or pine nuts (
  • 1/2 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Trim carrot tops, leaving some stem attached. Measure out 2 cups carrot tops and set aside; reserve any remaining carrot tops for another use.
  2. Toss carrots and vegetable oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until carrots are golden brown and tender, 25–35 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Pulse garlic and nuts in a food processor until a coarse paste forms. Add basil, Parmesan, and reserved carrot tops; process until a coarse paste forms. Add olive oil and pulse until combined; season with salt and pepper. Serve carrots with pesto.

Note: Pesto can be made 1 day ahead. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface; chill. Carrots can be roasted 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. 

Use this recipe as a guide. Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary. Always taste test as you go.