This past week I pulled up about half of our carrots. There’s so much beautiful carrot top per carrot, it seems wasteful to not use them. The first year that I grew them, I tossed the tops with regret, thinking (incorrectly) that they were poisonous. Later I learned the error of my ways, and set to figuring out a way to make use of all of those leafy greens.
Not surprisingly, one of the more popular ways to prepare carrot tops is to turn them into pesto. You can make pretty much anything taste amazing with Parmesan cheese, oil and salt. Carrots are in the same family as parsley, so their tops taste a little bit like parsley. But they are really their own thing; I don’t know anything that tastes quite like them.
I adapted this recipe making it
lazier easier, and swapping out standard garlic for the green garlic. All of the ingredients can be adjusted to taste, so taste your way along.
Carrot Top Pesto
- 1/4 c almonds
- 6-8 cloves garlic
- 4 cups carrot tops
- 1/2 c Parmesan cheese
- 1 c extra virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Chop the almonds in a food processor.
- Throw in the garlic and mince it up.
- Add the carrot tops and the Parmesan. Turn the processor on, then drizzle in the oil through the feed tube while the machine is running. Stop when the machine starts to run smoothly.
- Taste for salt.
You can make the pesto taste fairly generic by keeping the carrot top amount low compared to the oil and cheese. I like the carrot top flavour to stand out just a bit, so I usually end up adding in a few more tops at the end.
This will make just under 2 cups of pesto, so it should fit nicely in a pint size canning jar. It won’t last long. Plan to either use it all up within a day or two, or freeze it.