Carrot Top Pesto

Source: Gloria Polo, East Bay Community Recovery Project

Recipe Type: | Seasons: , , ,

This recipe was updated in 2019 and demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on October 30, 2016.

This pesto is a creative way to use every part of the vegetable. The tender tops are fresh and clean-tasting and mimic the flavor of the carrot itself.

Makes 8-12 servings


2 cups lightly packed carrot tops (greens from about 2 pounds carrots)
3 garlic cloves
⅓ cup whole raw almonds
1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Trim carrot tops, leaving some stem behind. Set aside.

Pulse garlic and nuts in a food processor to coarsely chop. Add cilantro, cheese, and carrot tops. Process until a coarse puree forms.

Add olive oil and pulse until combined. Use up to ½ cup more olive oil for a thinner sauce.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy over grated carrots for a cold salad or over your favorite cooked pasta.

TIP: Experiment with substituting cilantro for parsley or basil, almonds for cashews, or Parmesan for another hard cheese, like aged cheddar.

Farmers Market Ingredients