Carrot Tops/Greens Pesto

Carrot Tops/Greens Pesto

Carrot Tops/Greens Pesto

This is a new twist on “basil” pesto.  Currently, I have a lot of carrots in my yard and I usually hate to throw away any type of “vegetable” like materials.  If it is edible, it’s going onto my plate somehow.  This idea of using the tops/greens of the carrots came from one of our Agriscaper at Utopian Harvest.  Cecilia got me onto the idea of using the tops instead of basil to make a pesto.  I also use the tops/greens of the carrots to make stir fry as well because sometimes, kale and Swiss chard stir fry gets a bit old.

So you may ask, what’s the health benefit of using the carrot tops/greens?  Carrot greens are bitter, herbaceous and astringent, with a hint of sweetness in the finish. They are coarse and grainy when raw. The stems taste like celery but are too stringy to use.

Although no official government analysis is available, carrot tops probably have a nutritional profile similar to their roots. This would suggest that carrot tops provide vitamins A, B6, C and K, folate, manganese, niacin, potassium and thiamine.  Carrot greens are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. They contain 6 times the vitamin C of the root and are a great source of potassium and calcium. The greens are an excellent source of chlorophyll, which has been noted to purify the blood, lymph nodes and adrenal glands. They have also been noted to deter tumor growth.  Be careful about eating too much of the carrot greens/tops because it is a root vegetable used as a way to cleanse the soil of alkaloids.  I have not experience any side effects of eating this green/top most likely because I would add them as ingredients to other vegetables and cook them.

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Serving:  4-6                                                                                                                       Total Time:  10 minutes

1 bunch or 4 cups Chopped Carrot Tops (just the leaves and throw away the stems) – save the carrots for other recipes
1 Tablespoon Minced garlic
1 Tablespoon juice or 1 large Lemon Lemon juice or juice from the lemon
½ cup Raw Walnut or Raw Pine Nut or Raw Almond
2 Tablespoons Virgin Olive Oil
As needed Salt and Pepper
  1. Clean and chop the carrot tops/greens and discard the stems;
  2. In a food processor, chop the nut (walnut, pine nut, or almond) until small bits and pieces;
  3. Add the chopped carrot tops/greens and lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper;
  4. Pulse some more until all the above ingredients are well blended and minced.

Use this pesto in spaghetti sauce or baked with fish or poultry as a pesto ingredient.