For most people, hearing “carrot top” conjures up images of a skinny comedian with bright red hair who totes around a trunk full of props.
For me, I imagine the leafy greens atop my carrots and think, ‘What can I do with these?’
After asking the farmers at the market without much help, I took matters into my own hands to research what, if any, uses there were for my carrot tops. Check out the Carrot Museum website for some great recipes. I really loved their idea for a carrot top pesto, though I didn’t actually follow their recipe since I didn’t have the ingredients on hand.
Normally I would let you know about the fantastic nutrition of carrot tops before I delve into recipes and the like. However, there were no reputable sources to be found on the topic. That doesn’t mean that carrot tops aren’t nutritious, however. If I had to use my nutritional knowledge and background to estimate the nutrients found in carrot tops, I would say that there is potassium (promotes heart health among other things), vitamin K (involved in bone health and maintenance as well as blood clotting) and iron. Again, this is my estimation of the nutrients found in carrot tops and should by no means be taken as fact.
So, on to the recipe:
Carrot Top Pesto:
- 1 cup carrot tops, rinsed, with any large stems removed
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, rinsed
- 3 Tbsp olive oil (or more if you want a thinner pesto)
- 3 Tbsp nuts or seeds (I used pepitas because that was all I had. Pine nuts or walnuts would be best)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp lemon pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
Blend all ingredients in a food processor until creamy.
Carrot top pesto made an excellent topping to my turkey meatballs at lunch…