Carrot Top Pesto | CUESA

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Carrot Top Pesto


Gloria Polo, East Bay Community Recovery Project

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.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »