A long time ago I read somewhere that it was better to buy carrots in a bunch with their tops attached because it meant that the carrots were fresher and tastier. I have been doing this for years and have usually send the carrot tops into the compost or trash bin when I get home. But then a couple of months ago I stumbled on a recipe for pesto made with carrot tops that sounded great. It stuck in my mind, so yesterday when I pulled a bunch of carrots out of my garden I decided that it was time to give it a try.
I threw a bunch of stuff into my food processor and the results were pretty divine. We had it tossed with zucchini noodles and sprinkled with parmesan and the leftovers will go on grilled salmon tonight. I will never throw out those carrot tops again!
And PS - carrot tops are considered a leafy green vegetable which is always a good choice!
1- 1 1/2 cup(s) of carrot tops (typically the amount from one bunch of carrots)
1-1 1/2 cup(s) of fresh basil leaves
2-4 garlic cloves (I used roasted garlic because I prefer it but it's up to you)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
pinch of sea salt
3 tablespoons of either pine nuts, almonds, walnuts or sunflower seeds (I used sunflower seeds because that's what I had on hand but any of the above will do fine).
2 tsp of parmesan cheese (you could use nutritional yeast if you are dairy-free or vegan or you could even omit it altogether)
6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (you can add more if the pesto seems too thick).
Rinse the carrot tops well, dry them and then remove and discard the thicker middle stem. Put the tops into the food processor with all the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the olive oil and process until finely chopped. You may need to stop and scrape the sides down once or twice to get everything well minced. Then, while the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil and keep processing until it is smooth, scraping down the sides of the processor bowl as needed. Taste it and add more salt or lemon juice if you like.
Voila - you are done. Enjoy!