Crunchy Carrot Top Pesto
- 1 pound rotini pasta
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup carrot tops
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
For best results, we recommend using:
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook rotini in boiling water until al dente, 8 to 12 minutes; drain.
- While the pasta boils, heat a skillet over medium. Toast sunflower and pumpkin seeds in the skillet until fragrant and lightly browned; spread onto a plate to cool.
- Pulse carrot tops and basil in a blender until just combined; add the toasted seeds and garlic and blend. Slowly stream olive oil into the mixture while blending; continue to blend on High to emulsify, 2 to 3 minutes. Add ⅔ cup Parmesan cheese and blend to integrate; season with salt and pepper. Alternately, place ingredients in the chopper attachment of an immersion blender and blend until smooth.
- Toss drained pasta and pesto sauce together in a large bowl to coat pasta in sauce; garnish with remaining Parmesan cheese to serve.
It's not only carrot tops that deserve the pesto treatment. Try other leafy greens such as arugula, kale, beet greens or even dandelion leaves. Experiment with different nuts in place of the pumpkin and sunflower seeds, like walnuts, almonds or cashews.
What others are saying
Jenny J says:
In addition to the carrot top pesto, we topped the noodles with an Italian herb pan seared chicken and added roasted cherry tomatoes. It was really delicious, well-rounded weeknight meal.
Sheila Long says:
Made kale pesto instead of carrot top because I couldn't find any. Definitely a bummer, but the kale pesto turned out really delicious.
Jordan Clark says:
Rarely do I buy carrots with the tops but I went to the farmers market this past weekend and picked up carrots with the leafy greens still attached. Perfect opportunity to make this delicious pesto! Ordinarily, I would have just tossed it in the trash. This was really tasty, it had a great flavor and went perfect with this ginger pasta I made.
Laura Griffin says:
It's not often that I have carrot tops, but the few times I did, I saved them to make this recipe. It was really delicious! I tossed it in linguine noodles, so light and easy!
Jessica Scott says:
I saved my carrot tops just so I could make this recipe. This made a delicious pesto, very flavorful. I tossed them in noodles with olive oil. So good!