Easy, healthy and tasty carrot top pesto sauce! Don’t throw away the carrot top greens, they’re edible! in fact, they’re very delicious. Try this super easy vegan pesto recipe once, and you’ll want to make it every time you buy carrots with green tops.
If you didn’t know that carrot tops are edible, well let me tell you that you can do so many things with them! Add them to your homemade veggie stock, roast them or make pesto. Just don’t throw them away! And if you don’t want to use them, just give them to me and I’ll make myself a jar of delicious pesto!
HOW TO STORE CARROTS?
Although carrots are available all year round in supermarkets, they have a season or two! They can be harvested in early spring if sown during winter, but usually harvested from June through to August as they’re sworn in the spring.
To keep carrots fresh for longer, store them unwashed in a paper bag on a cool veg rack and they should last for a few weeks. As for peeling, I only peel carrots that are not organic or bought during winter. If you’re buying seasonal carrots and they’re organic, you don’t need to peel them. But either way, the peels can be used to make a tasty homemade stock.
CARROT TOP PESTO
To make the pesto, start by cutting off the carrot tops and washing the leaves. Pat dry using a kitchen towel, and place in a food processor. You could also add basil leaves if you like (recommended!).
Choose what kind of nut you would like to use, I normally use pine nuts or walnuts but you can also use macadamia nuts if you prefer. If you’re allergic to nuts, then use sunflower seeds instead, and they work great!
You will also need parmesan cheese, or nutritional yeast if you’re following a vegan diet. And finally, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Blitz all of the ingredients until you get a semi-smooth paste. Have a little taste, and see if you would like to add any more ingredients, and that’s it! Your homemade pesto is ready to be consumed, and you just saved the carrot tops from being wasted!
The original Italian recipe of pesto is not vegan. So to make a vegan version, I substituted the parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast. The rest of the ingredients are naturally vegan.
There are so many different variations of pesto out there, basil pesto is my favourite, and since the carrot tops have a very neutral taste – they go so well in this recipe! But in general, pesto can be made with so many herbs, veggies, and leafy greens, i.e kale, wild garlic, watercress, broccoli, peas, chives, and parsley.
HOW LONG DOES HOMEMADE PESTO LAST?
You can keep this in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, and you can freeze it for up to 3-4 months.
HOW TO TELL IF PESTO GOES BAD?
The pesto will stay fresh thanks to the olive oil, but if you notice that the pesto is changing in colour, i.e turning a bit brown. Then it’s not good to eat! When it’s exposed to air, it will start turning brown so best to keep it in an airtight container.
HOW TO USE VEGAN PESTO SAUCE?
- Pesto is commonly used with pasta as a sauce.
- Use as a dip.
- Mix in with hummus.
- Top a pizza!
- Spread on bread to make a sandwich (great with tomato)
- With baked or crushed potatoes.
- Makes a wonderful salad dressing.
Whenever possible, buy seasonal, local and organic and enjoy the beauty of plants!
If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also enjoy my vegan mayo recipe so make sure to check it out!
If you make this recipe, please don’t forget to rate it and share a picture on social media. Tag #LittleSunnyKitchen in your posts as I would really love to see what you make! Thank you for supporting Little Sunny Kitchen, so I can keep sharing my family recipes with you for free.
Carrot Top Pesto
- 2 cups carrot tops
- ½ cup basil leaves packed
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 cloves garlic
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ½ lemon juiced
- ½ tsp fine grain salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- In a food processor, blitz all of the ingredients until you get pesto consistency. Add olive oil gradually and see if you need to add a little bit more.
- Feel free to add nuts to this pesto for more texture and flavour. Walnuts, pinenuts and brazil nuts work great.