Recipes from the Garden – Carrot Top Pesto

Carrots and greens are some of the first crops ready for harvesting in spring because they can be planted before the growing season’s last frost. After you eat your carrots, don’t let those carrot tops go to waste! Americans waste about 40% of their food and food sent to the landfill releases potent greenhouse gases into our environment (source: USDA).

Tackle food waste and enjoy the vitamins A, C, K, calcium, and iron the carrot tops offer. They’re also rich in dietary fiber, which supports digestion and nutrient absorption! If you still have leftover carrot tops, use them as an alternative to parsley.

This recipe swaps standard pesto ingredients such as basil and pine nuts for budget friendly spinach and cashews. If you’re low on cashews, try walnuts instead. Use this tasty green sauce in pasta, on eggs, on a crostini with a fresh slice of tomato, or simply enjoy with tortilla chips. This recipe comes together in about 10 minutes and is a crowd pleaser!

Recipe courtesy of: Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed carrot top greens, tough stems removed
  •  1 cup packed baby spinach
  • 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • *SEE recommendation* add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, or more, to enhance your flavors!

Preparation

  1. Rinse the carrot top greens to dislodge any dirt. Pick out and discard any dry, yellowed, or otherwise unappetizing looking leaves. Discard tough stems.
  2. Place the carrot tops greens, baby spinach, chopped garlic, roasted cashews, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse several times. Scrape the sides down with a rubber spatula.
  3. Slowly pour in the olive oil in a steady stream, while the food processor is running. Scrape the sides down with a rubber spatula. Pulse until smooth.

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