Carrot Top Pesto! 

By Co-op Member Katie Myers Leonard

You can make pesto from all kinds of greens. While basil and pine nuts make for traditional Italian pesto, you can use other greens (in combination with basil or on their own) to make many varieties of summer’s best sauce. Arugula, sorrel, fennel fronds, or parsley make delicious pestos. Try using different nuts or seeds with your varied greens, such as walnut-arugula pesto, cashew-Thai basil pesto, almond-arugula pesto. If you need a nut-free version, adding some chic peas or white beans can be a nice substitute. Sometimes a small addition of mint really gives pesto a lift, or adding some chili flakes can give it a little punch!

This is a recipe for carrot top pesto. It’s a great way to reduce food waste and make something delicious and slightly different. Don’t skimp on the lemon juice! If you are vegan, substitute nutritional yeast for the cheese.

Carrot Top Pesto

  • 2 cups washed carrot tops (mostly leaves) *You can substitute basil for part of this if desired
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • 2-3 minced garlic cloves
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ¾  cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ¼  teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper

Place the first three ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined. Add lemon juice and zest and blend. With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow and steady stream. Stop the motor to add cheese, salt, and pepper. Blend and taste. Adjust seasoning if needed. Use right away or store in the fridge or freezer until needed.