Vegan Carrot Top Pesto (Zero-Waste!)

November 2, 2020
If there is something I really hate is wasting anything. Especially wasting time and food. I love to use every part of my veggies in my dishes somehow, so when I found fresh carrots at the market with lush green tops, I knew I had to take it home with me.

If you find some edible greens at the market or in your fridge, you can almost always turn them into some sort of delicious sauce such as pesto by mixing them with herbs, nuts or seeds, citruses, and a little bit of oil.

You can use it right away as fresh pesto or freeze it.
carrot top pesto in a clear dish on a cutting board

Vegan Carrot Top Pesto (Zero-Waste!)

Recipe Type: Appetizers
utensils YIELDS 2 servings
herb graphic for recipe card
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • to taste salt, pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 carrot tops (from 1-2 bunches)
  • 2-3 large fresh basil leaves
  • 2 fresh green top of spring onions
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts (or cashews, walnut)
        graphic for recipe card


1. If you plan to eat the pesto right away, you can just throw every ingredient in a food processor and blend until a chunky paste forms with small bits of carrot tops.

2. If you plan to keep (some parts) in the freezer, you’ll need to blanche the greens before.

3. For blanching, remove thick stem pieces of carrot tops. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water in it. Once boiling, add the carrot tops to the pot. Stir occasionally, cooking for about 3 minutes or until bright green and tender. Immediately remove from the pot, drain the hot water, and add the carrot tops to the ice cube bowl to stop the cooking process. Drain the carrot tops, wring out excess liquid, and spread them on a plate to dry while you do the remaining recipe prep.

4. To use as a pasta sauce, cook your pasta in salted water according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot. Add the reserved cooking water and carrot top pesto, stir to combine, and cook over low heat until warmed. Serve right away.

More zero-waste cooking: Banana Peel & Carob Smoothie Bowl

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Photo: Imola Toth

Imola is a Hatha and Ashtanga yoga teacher, tree planter and writer and editor of Raised by the Wolf, an online magazine for Wild Women, with a passion for exploring and life outdoors. Originally from Hungary but currently planting trees and rewilding the enchanting forests of France. Hop over to RBTW magazine, and blog and follow her on Instagram @yogiraisedbythewolf


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