Have you ever wondered what to do with the leafy tops of your carrots other than throw them on the compost? If you’re tired of wasting those lovely bushy carrot greens, I have a totally wacky idea for you: Carrot Top Pesto.
Hear me out.
I know the idea of carrot top pesto doesn’t necessarily sound appealing.
Carrots greens are a little drier and sometimes stringy. And basil is delicious, so it’s a tough comparison.
Why not combine them? Mostly carrot tops plus a little basil, or any other herb, really. Cilantro would work well. Parsley and Mint could be delicious, too. Even fresh oregano makes a really lovely pesto. Want to get really crazy? Add some arugula you have lying around for a little extra spice!
No matter what you combine those carrot tops with, your pesto will still be delicious. I promise.
As a bonus, this pesto is 100% vegan, so if you don’t eat it all at once (which is highly unlikely), it will keep for at least a week in your fridge. I’m all for repeat pesto performances, personally.
If you’ve never made vegan pesto before, it’s a cinch. Sub out the parmesan for toasted coconut. Same consistency and similar salty flavor.
I like to have my pesto over barley with a mix of fresh crunchy spring veggies and roasted veggies. Mix and match as your tastes prefer.
Vegan Carrot Top Pesto over Barley with Veggies
for the pesto
2 cups carrot tops plus 1 cup fresh herbs (basil, cilantro, mint…arugula works well, too)
1 large clove of garlic or 1 small, peeled
1/4 shredded coconut, toasted
1/3 -1/2 cup walnuts (optional, toasted)
1 tbs lemon
1/4 cup olive oil (more or less, as needed)
salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp)
for the veggies
2 large yellow beet, peeled, halved, and quartered, then sliced at about 1/4 inch thick
1 zucchini, halved and sliced at about 1/4 inch thick
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch of radishes, sliced thinly
for the barley
1 cup barley
2 cups water
Make your barley by boiling the barley in the water. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30-45minutes. When water is fully absorbed, remove from heat and set aside to cool, uncovered.
While barley is cooking, make your pesto. Add all of the ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor. Blend it all up until the ingredients are well combined and form a thick mixture.Your pesto shouldn’t be soupy. It should be nice and thick. If it’s a little more on the liquidy side, you’ll be fine. Or you can add more greens/toasted coconut/nuts.
Roast your yellow beets and zucchini in a little olive oil at about 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Or until the yellow beets are easily pierced with a fork.
When everything is done, combine the roasted veggies, fresh veggies, and barley in bowls. Then add a big scoop of pesto, mix it all up, and eat it with the satisfaction that you finally put your carrot tops to good use.