This carrot top pesto is the perfect no-waste recipe to use up those nutritious carrot tops you have left over, and is so delicious and easy to make. Using only 6 ingredients (plus salt) and ready in 5 minutes you’ll love this healthy pesto recipe. Vegan option.
2 cups firmly packed carrot tops
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 clove garlic
100g parmesan cheese (dairy or vegan), finely grated
1/3–1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4– 1/2 tsp fine salt
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- If you have not done so already, wash your carrot tops and remove the leaves from the stem. Discard stems, or place in the freezer to use in a homemade stock.
- This step is optional but recommended. Heat a heavy based saucepan over medium heat. Once hot reduce heat to low and add pine nuts (do not add oil). Dry roast for 2-3 minutes, tossing regularly, until fragrant and the pine nuts release some oils and become oily or shiny to look at. Turn off heat and immediately transfer to a bowl (to prevent burning) Set aside to cool for 3-5 minutes.
- Add carrot tops and pine nuts to a food processor. Pulse until the herbs are well chopped- you want them to look finely chopped but not at all pureed.
- Add garlic and parmesan and pulse about 8 times until well incorporated.
- With the food processor running stream in lemon juice and olive oil. I use the full 1/2 cup olive oil for a more liquid pesto, however you can use less if you prefer a thicker dip-like consistency. As soon as the liquid has been added turn off the food processor.
- Remove the lid and blade from the food processor. Add 1/4 tsp salt and black pepper and stir to combine. Taste, adding extra salt if you prefer. Transfer to a container and store in the fridge.
Pesto is delicious served as a dip or mixed through pasta for a quick and easy dinner. Refer to the blog post above for more serving suggestions.
Pesto can be stored in the fridge for up to 5-7 days. It is freezer friendly (up to 6 months) however it is best enjoyed without freezing.
You can increase the life of pesto in the fridge by using an olive oil seal. To do so, pack pesto into a very clean glass jar. Make sure the top of the pesto is a very even layer and no pesto is on the sides of the jar above this line. Add a layer of olive oil (about 1-2 cm thick) on top of the pesto and store in the fridge. As long as the pesto is sitting completely below the olive oil line is will be spared from spoiling. You can store pesto this way for 2-3 weeks.
- Pine nuts made be substituted for hemp seeds, roasted cashews, walnuts.