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Roasted Carrots with Carrot-Top Pesto

The lacy and delicate leaves of carrots are edible, tender and fragrant – so why throw them out! Use them to create a delicious nutty pesto that you can drizzle over some sweet roasted carrots.

Carrot tops contain six times the vitamin C of the root, are rich in vitamin K which is completely lacking in the root, and are a great source of potassium – it is this high level of potassium which can make the greens taste slightly bitter. Because of this, carrots tops are best used in small quantities like as a garnish, sprinkled in a salad, or like what we’ve done by creating a pesto.

Carrot tops are tender and delicious, however for some people they don’t agree with them. The tops contain nitrates, and like all greens, alkaloids. So for those who are sensitive to potatoes, eggplants, and other nightshade plants, you may want to avoid eating carrot tops.

CarrotTopPesto1

Peel carrots, reserving greens. Cut in half lengthwise, toss with oil and seasonings and place on a parchment lined baking sheet or in a stone baking dish. Bake at 400°F for 30-40 minutes, or until tender and lightly golden on the bottom.

CarrotTopPesto2

For pesto, in a food processor combine all ingredients but the oil and salt. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
With machine running, add 1/3 cup of the oil and until pesto is finely chopped and well blended. To thin it out, add in more oil or some water until you get your desired consistency.


Roasted Carrots with Carrot-Top Pesto
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Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 6-8 large carrots (with tops)
  • 1 Tbsp oliveoil
  • Salt and pepper
Pesto
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (4oz)
  • 3oz carrot tops, chopped
  • 2 oz arugula
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice, to taste
  • ⅓-3/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Peel carrots, reserving greens. Cut in half lengthwise, toss with oil and seasonings and place on a parchment lined baking sheet or in a clay baking dish. Bake at 400°F for 30-40 minutes, or until tender and lightly golden on the bottom.
  2. Toast walnuts in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, tossing often until fragrant and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. For pesto, in a food processor combine the toasted walnuts and remaining ingredients except for the oil and salt. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
  4. With machine running, add ⅓ cup of the oil and until pesto is finely chopped and well blended. To thin it out, add in more oil or some water until you get your desired consistency.
  5. Season to taste with salt and add more lemon juice if needed. Drizzle (or toss) over hot roasted carrots.
Notes
Freeze any extra pesto for later!

 

4 Responses to Roasted Carrots with Carrot-Top Pesto

  1. Lisa November 13, 2017 at 1:55 pm #

    You just use the greens part of the carrot tops, not the dirty looking circle at the top, right?

    • Marla Hingley
      Marla Hingley November 13, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

      Yes, just the frilly green fronds 🙂

  2. Lisa November 14, 2017 at 11:05 am #

    One last question! I have a sensitivity to nuts. Is there something else I can use besides the walnuts to make the pesto? Thanks!!

    • Marla Hingley
      Marla Hingley November 14, 2017 at 6:06 pm #

      To replace the texture, I would try hemp hearts. You can find them in health food stores, and in some organic sections of grocery stores. They are tender, yet firm and don’t impart any weird flavor (very neutral). After you’ve pureed together the other ingredients, just stir in some hemp hearts until you get the texture you like. Let me know how it turns out!

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