Carrot Top Pesto
Ever wondered what to do with the leafy greens attached to your carrots? It’s time to make vegan carrot top pesto! Get the recipe below.
Eat your greens
British grown carrots will appear in shops almost year round. But if you’re after green top carrots then you have to wait until the summer. When you grow your own carrots it’s always super exciting to see the vivid green fronds sprouting up from above the ground! They can get incredibly tall and it takes all of your willpower not to pull the carrots up too soon. I’d grown carrots for a couple of years before I realised that I was wasting a delicious and nutritious part of the plant. Now if I see carrots with their green tops in tact in the supermarket, or if they come in my veg bag, I make sure that they don’t go to waste. And my favourite way of eating them is as a zesty pesto!
Traditionally pesto is made with basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon and parmesan. (You can get my recipe for classic pesto here). But really you can make it with any leafy greens/herbs combined with any nut or herb. In the past I’ve made combinations such as sage and pumpkin pesto, roasted red pepper and basil pesto, even kale and walnut pesto! Since going vegan I’ve also realised that you can swap the parmesan for nutritional yeast so you don’t have to miss out if you’re following a dairy free / plant based diet. (You can find my vegan wild garlic pesto here).
My carrot top pesto is vegan friendly but do feel free to substitute the nutritional yeast for parmesan if you’d prefer. I also use sunflower seeds as they are one of my favourite but if you’re rather use pine nuts to make it closer to the “classic” pesto recipe that’s fine too. It’s not too often I’ll encourage you to deviate from a recipe but pesto recipes are very forgiving and experimentation is fun! As long as you have a high powered blender you’re good to go. I also like to add a little bit of basil to my carrot top pesto if I have it to hand but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t. I’ve listed it as optional in the recipe. Last but not least, I like to keep my pesto quite thick. I do this so that I can use it as a spread or a sauce for pasta dishes. If I want to thin it out to use as a drizzle then I simply add extra oil just before I use it.
Is your blender at the ready? Let’s make some pesto!
Vegan Carrot Top Pesto
- High powered blender
- 1 bunch carrot tops rinsed and dried
- 6 leaves basil (optional)
- 35 grams sunflower seeds
- 6 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 pinch salt
- 125 millilitres olive oil
- 0.5 lemon juice and zest
- Add all of the ingredients to your blender and blitz on high until the desired consistency is achieved, scraping down the sides regularly to ensure everything is blended.
- Season to taste and add more lemon juice / olive oil if desired.
- Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.