Carrot Top Pesto
Food Waste

Carrot Top Pesto

  • Makes 1 medium jar
  • Level Easy
  • Prep Time 25 mins
  • Suitable for Gluten Free Vegetarians


  • 75g green carrot tops, stems & leaves
  • 75g pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 25g basil, stems & leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 90ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g vegetarian ‘parmesan’, roughly chopped
  • Optional: zest and juice of half a lemon

Special Equipment

  • Food Processor

This carrot top pesto is delicious mixed through freshly cooked pasta. Treat yourself to a slathering on toast and topped with cheese.

For a punchy salad dressing, thin with a little more oil and mix through well.

How To Make It…

  1. Start by washing your carrot tops well as they can retain quite a bit of grit. The best way to do this is to soak the tops in cold water for 5 minutes and then rinse well under running water. Leave them to drain in a sieve for another 5-10 minutes.
  2. While the carrot tops are draining, pop the pine nuts on a baking tray underneath a grill set at a fairly low heat. Once the edges of the nuts start to lightly brown they are ready so take them out from under the heat and place to the side. Keep an eye on them as pine nuts burn easily!
  3. Put the carrot tops, basil and toasted pine nuts in the bowl of your food processor and blend for a minute or so until everything is well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the garlic, salt and pepper. Blend again until the garlic is well chopped up and mixed through. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
  4. With the food processor running, gradually drizzle the olive oil in through the lid opening so that it blends with the other ingredients. If you are including the lemon, add this after the oil.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the cheese, whizzing everything up until you have a creamy mixture that still retains a bit of texture (rather than being completely smooth).
  6. Spoon the pesto into a medium jar and top with a generous drizzle of olive oil. This will keep sealed in the fridge for up to a week.