If you’ve ever had carrots with their leafy tops still attached, you might not have realised that these herby-tasting sprouts are very edible and delicious when blitzed into a coarse pesto.
They also pack a nice amount of nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, fibre and even protein.
I got a bunch of carrots at a farmer’s market, and after using the roots, I stored the tops until I had time to use them. They kept really well – about a week in an airtight container in the fridge.
This recipe is to my taste, and based on having 60g carrot tops. You may want to vary the amount of lemon, garlic, salt and pepper, and some recipes replace pine nuts with cashews or almonds.
60g carrot tops
45g pine nuts
1 large garlic clove
2 tablespoons olive oil (or use leftover oil from antipasti like sundried tomatoes for an even more zero-waste recipe)
pinch salt and pepper
1. Wash the carrot tops and chop roughly.
2. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blitz until it turns into a coarse pesto. Add more lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper or even herbs like basil or thyme to taste.
3. Serve with pasta, on toast, with roast vegetables. I cooked spaghetti at the same time, and added a splash or two of the water to make the pesto a bit runnier.
There you have it! You will never have to throw your carrot tops away again.