Carrot Top Pesto (or Any Herb Pesto)

We managed to grow a SINGLE carrot this year. Not 15, not 20, not even 3. Just ONE. 

This was after multiple sowings. I have NO idea what happened to the others.. whether I sowed them too deep, or too shallow.. or if mice or slugs got them, but, whatever happened, they didn’t germinate. 

So we ended up with just the ONE enormous carrot. 


Our Huge Carrot

 I guess that’s what happens if you have pretty much the entire allocated space for a whole crop to grow in. 

Anyway, I had planned to make a really yummy spicy carrot dip that’s been kicking around my repoirtoire for a while, but there was a rugby match on.. and I *might* have forgotten it was chunked up with spices in the oven. Meaning we had sort of crispy carrot chunks to snack on instead of lightly caramelised carrot chunks to make dip out of. 

Oh well. I’ll get the recipe up one of these days…

I did however manage to make a rather scrummy thing with the carrot tops… Yes. Carrot Tops. 

Did you even know you could eat them!!!!  


You can. 

Actually, I saw this  pesto on someone else’s Instagram post. I can’t lie, I forget whose it was…. I was scrolling quickly and although I’m fairly certain I hit the heart button,I cannot for the life of me remember who’s account it was. So.. whoever you are, THANKS for the idea. 

Carrot Top Pesto Making

I know most of you probably get your carrots out of a bag from the supermarket. And this is fine. But some of you will probably get a weekly veggie box from an organic collective ( I used to until I started growing my own and I LOVED them!), some of you will go to farmers markets, and some of you will grow your own carrots. In which case you are likely at times to have a quantity of lovely green foilage, that just gets chucked into the bin/onto the compost heap. 

Which always seems like such a waste. 

But now…. NOW… you have something to make with those greens!! Hooray!

Actually, it turns out that carrot tops are quite good for you. If I ever manage to grow a proper crop of them again, I might try them in other ways… maybe sauteed with garlic.. or the very young fronds snipped into a salad… 

Carrot top pesto might not be appropriate for everyone to make,but I think what we ALL can take away from this is……

 Pesto is brilliant!!!!

And it’s so easy to make!!…..Add some herby stuff, to some oil & some kind of nut  (or not, if you’re allergic) , add a bit of salt & garlic, maybe parmesan if you eat cheese. Or go vegan with nutritional yeast (which I actually prefer in pesto!!). And you have a killer sauce for pasta, spread to add to sandwiches, topper for soup or a thing to smush onto roasted veggies. I’ve done ALL of these things this week with the batch of carrot pesto I made, and it was all delicious. 

So.. please do tell me your fave way to make pesto. Are you a pureist? Or do you live on the edge with crazy ingredients?

Carrot Top Pesto
Prep Time
10 mins
Author: Louise-Claire Cayzer
  • 1 HUGE carrot top. Or 3-4 normal size carrot tops.
  • Small handful basil and/or parsley
  • Small handful nuts (I used cashew.. but you could use pinenuts, almonds or walnuts)
  • 1 Tbs nutritional yeast ( this gives a creamy, parmesan flavour.. I prefer it to parm in the way it creates pesto! Vegan win!!)
  • salt
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil- 3 -4 Tbs.. or more depending on taste
  1. Pop the nuts and all ingredients except the herbs and oil into a food processor & pulse until the nuts are pulverised.
  2. Add the herbs
  3. Pulse until the herbs are pesto-like.. you can still see the herb flecks, and with a little chunk of nuts.
  4. Taste & add salt if needed.
Recipe Notes

This keeps for a week or 2 in the fridge. Add a layer of olive oil to cover the top of the pesto, this is a natural preservative..keeps bacteria out & the pesto fresh!

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  • Reply
    Kathryn Grace
    October 1, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    This looks delicious. Pinning it for future reference, since I froze my carrot tops yesterday, and shared it on my Facebook page, Cooking with Whole Grains & Real Whole Foods.

    • Reply
      October 5, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Thank you Kathryn! Let me know when you make it, what you think! x

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