I bought a lovely bunch of carrots this week, tops intact. Big fluffy green fronds that smelled slightly of pepper, citrus and grass. I wanted to eat them, but found myself asking, are carrot tops edible? I turned to the power of google for my answer, and was happy to learn – YES! They are edible, and they are delicious.
I made the leafy beauties into a pesto with the addition of walnuts and a bit of Parmesan cheese. The delicate sweetness and buttery texture of the walnuts paired swimmingly with the fresh peppery taste of the greens and the nutty, salty bite of good cheese. The pesto was a success.
I try to use every little bit of produce that I buy, and this recipe was a fantastic use of something that might otherwise be discarded. I try to live my life with a “waste not, want not” mantra, and this simple pesto is a perfect example of how we can really reduce our waste with a bit of effort….and cheese. Next time you find yourself with a batch of carrot tops, eat them! High in vitamins A, C and K, these unassuming greens are good – and good for you.
On a side note, I totally ate that garnish. Walnuts drizzled with olive oil taste EXACTLY like browned butter. Heavenly.
This recipe yielded about 1 cup of pesto. We served some to friends as an appetizer smeared on toasty bauguette, sent about 1/4 cup home with them, and still had enough to make a quick (but super delicious) pasta dish the following day.
- 1 bunch carrot greens (thoroughly washed and dried)
- 1/2 bunch parsley
- 3/4 cup roasted walnuts
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
- Discard any tough stems from your carrot greens and parsley
- Turn on your food processor and while it’s running, drop the garlic clove through the chute
- Add the walnuts and pulse a few times to chop
- Add greens bit by bit and pulse to a fine mince. We don’t want a puree, so be careful not to over process.
- Scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula, add cheese, and pulse
- Slowly drizzle in oil, and pulse one last time to combine
- Drizzle top with additional oil when serving if desired