Monday, June 27, 2011

Creamy Carrot-top & Chive Pesto

Remember my Farmers Market Carrots from this post?
Before I purchased these lovely Carrots I had a nice conversation with Pete of Willow Creek Farms about what I was going to do with the Carrot-tops. I told him I wasn't exactly sure, but I knew I didn't want to let them go to waste. The thing about these greens is they can often border on slightly bitter, and really don't have a ton of flavor otherwise. The greens alone are rich in minerals, protein, and potassium - and the bitterness  of the green can be wonderfully transformed when combined with the right amount of acid.
Want to know a secret about me? 
Okay, maybe it's not really a secret - but here goes:
 I don't like fresh Basil. 
How scandalous! 
The truth is, fresh Basil has always upset my stomach. So I usually avoid pesto unless it's in very small amounts. Today's recipe is my version of a creamy pesto-like spread. If course, you can always omit the Chive and add Basil if you prefer. No rules here, only suggestions!
Regardless of whether enjoy Pesto with or without Basil - this recipe is a wonderful way to consume the nutrient rich Carrot-top. So the next time you buy a bunch of Carrots, chop off the greens, place the cut ends in glass with a little bit of water (this will keep them fresh until you're ready to use them) and make some Carrot-top Pesto!
Creamy Carrot-top & Chive Pesto
1/2 c Macadamia Nuts - chopped/ground:
After you've chopped/ground your Mac nuts add the following into your food processor:
3/4 c Carrot-top Greens
1/3 c Chive - chopped
2 tsp Garlic - minced (or to taste)
3 to 4 Tbsp Lemon juice
Pulse all of the above together and slowly drizzle in:
1/4 c plus 2 Tbsp Grape seed Oil //or// Extra Virgin Olive oil
Puree until creamy, but don't puree too much. You want to leave a little bit of texture to the nuts and greens.
Store this Pesto in an air tight container in your fridge and it will keep for up to 2 weeks.
You can enjoy this spread with just about anything: 
Sandwiches, a veggie platter, lettuce wraps, appetizers, pasta, or your protein of choice. 



  1. Thanks Erin! I was just thinking about you this morning - realized I hadn't come over to say hello in while. I miss you chicky! xo

  2. awesome post. i don't know what i could do without basil. this post made me think that i'm a real jagoff for letting a lot of carrot tops and other random things go to waste because i don't have any use for them :( i'm really bad at tossing beet greens when i should obviously be using them. i'll have to ask you for advice (if you don't mind ;)

    ~ Rick

  3. Aww, Don't feel bad Rick! ;)
    I'd be more than happy to oblige the next time you're looking for ideas to salvage those greens. I've made some wicked seasoning (for marinades/dips/salads/etc) out of dried Beet and Turnip greens in the past. Yum!


  4. oh man that does sound yum! next time i have some i'll let you know, but i'm almost certain to have beet greens again this consider thinking about those ideas for me ;) lol


  5. I need to delurk to say...I'm glad you hate basil! I'm allergic to it (we're talking stop-breathing, face swells up kind of allergy) and though I've heard "a good pesto is worth dying for," I'd rather have one to live for! Looks delicious! I'm definitely trying it out after I get some carrots at the market this week. Thanks for the recipe :-)

  6. I have just made this and am so surprised by the lovely taste. The carrot tops did not look encouraging because they smell rather bitter, but the pesto transforms them. Fantastic recipe, thanks!