Carrot Top Pesto


Carrot Top Pesto

Carrot Top Pesto

by variation from basketeer Carolyn Reynolds


  • 1 cup (20 grams) lightly packed carrot leaves (stems removed)
  • 6 Tbsp. (90 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • ¼ tsp. kosher or fine sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted (see Note)
  • ¼ cup (30 grams) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano


In a food processor, combine the carrot leaves, oil, garlic, and salt, and process until finely minced. Add the pine nuts and pulse until finely chopped. Add the Parmesan and pulse just until combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.


Toasting pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, and pumpkin seeds brings out their flavor. Spread the nuts or seeds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, place in a preheated 350-degree oven, and toast until fragrant and lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the nut or seed.

Alternatively, nuts and seeds can be browned in a microwave. Spread in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high power, stopping to stir once or twice, until fragrant and lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Watch them closely so they don’t burn.

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