Carrot Top Pesto

carrot top pesto

Did you know you could make pesto out of just about anything? Like the tops of carrots or kale leaves or even a weed called purslane? I tried making three kinds of pesto this summer and this was my favorite. I liked it even more than basil pesto. It tastes bright and crisp and lemon-y. The perfect spread for sandwich or salad or pasta. I made three pestos on my local mid-day TV show Daytime Blue Ridge. For a step-by-step how-to, watch the segment here.

Makes about 1 cup


  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 3 cups packed carrot tops (about the amount from 1 bunch of carrots)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan


  1. Place almonds, garlic and sea salt into a food processor and pulse until well chopped.
  2. Add carrot tops and lemon juice. Pulse again, scraping the sides of the bowl to mix well.
  3. With the processor running, pour olive oil through the feeding tube.
  4. Add Parmesan and pulse until all ingredients are mixed together.
  5. Serve as an accompaniment to roasted vegetables, fish or chicken, atop your favorite pasta or as a dip for crusty bread.