Carrot Top Pesto

The carrots at the farmers market are beautiful with their bright green tops. Those often discarded tops happen to be quite nutritious, but not lauded by many as extremely tasty. I’ve been messing around with them lately. I made a great sauce the other day where I blanched them and then pureed them with a little yogurt. But at the dinner we did last week at Tartine I made a pesto with the carrot tops to garnish a slice of hard boiled egg – a simple and elegant appetizer if you ask me. Here’s the recipe – pretty similar to most pesto recipes, except less green and more of everything else.

SERVES 4-6 AS AN APPETIZER

  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds, sliced
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch carrot tops, leaves only, discard the stems
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup olive oil or enough to blend it all together into a thick pesto
  • salt to taste
  • 6 eggs
  • For the pesto: Put the ingredients in a food processor and blend thoroughly. Blend it more than you would other pestos, you don’t want any big carrot leaves as they will get stuck in your throat. When everything is well broken up, add a little more olive oil to loosen it up so you can drape the pesto over your egg.

  1. For the eggs: Cover the eggs with cold water in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil then shut off the heat, cover the pot and wait for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, submerge the eggs in ice water. Wait another 10 minutes then peel the eggs and cut into quarters. Place quartered eggs on a serving dish and drape with the pesto.
  • Anonymous

    I’ve found that carrot tops work similar to parsley in salads and as garnish. I did find some info online about carrot tops being slightly toxic… I link to an NY Times article about eating the leaves of our annual produce plants and have a recipe for carrot top + chickpea salad here if you’re interested in more info! > http://www.baltimorediy.org/2010/05/baby-carrots-and-how-to-eat-their.html

  • http://twitter.com/FrugalKiwi Melanie McMinn

    Hmm, I’ve never tried eating carrot greens-I normally give them to the chickens. Maybe I should give them a go myself though!

  • http://foodnouveau.com Marie (Food Nouveau)

    This is such a good idea – I never know what to make with carrot tops and I feel guilty throwing them away (even if it’s to the compost!) This looks great and I never thought of serving pesto with hard-boiled eggs, another great idea. Thank you for sharing this creative recipe!

  • slafko

    Made it just now. taste great. thx for the recipe.