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Carrot Top Pesto

If you love pesto and you love repurposing things, this recipe is going to make you smile. Absolutely delicious and so easy to make, this pesto using carrot tops is a winner. Use as a spread for sandwiches, add a dollop to vinaigrette, toss with pasta or serve as a condiment with roasted carrots--the possibilities are endless.
Servings 1 cup
Author The Cowgirl Gourmet adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit


  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts walnuts or pecans also work
  • 1 clove garlic large
  • 2 cups fresh carrot tops rinsed and dried
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves packed
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and maybe another tablespoon or so if needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pine nuts or nuts of choice on a baking sheet or a piece of aluminum foil and toast in the oven just until fragrant or golden brown, about 10 minutes or less. Remove the nuts from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

  2. Pulse the toasted nuts and garlic in the food processor until they become paste-like.

  3. Add carrot tops, basil, Parmesan and juice of 1 lemon and process until it all comes together into a thick paste. Add the olive oil and pulse until combined, adding a little more olive oil if needed. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper and pulse again to combine.
  4. Place pesto in a jar and use as a spread for sandwiches, dip for vegetables, with pasta, etc. Refrigerate the pesto and use within two weeks.