STOP! Don’t chop off your carrots tops and throw them away! Instead, make this super easy, and super delicious carrot top pesto. This pesto will change your life, and the way you look at the tops of leafy greens forever!
I was thinking a lot about food wastage the other day when I was clearing out my fridge.
Once a week, usually on a Sunday, I look at my fridge and see the vegetables I have to use up, and the sad forgotten veggies that somehow got stuck in the back of the fridge to wither, die, mold or even get to that super yucky liquefied stage.
I know, I’m gross. But don’t pretend it’s never happened to you!
But honestly, how much food do we waste as a human race?
I was reading a really interesting article by Erin over at The Almond Eater the other day about Pittsburgh’s efforts toward reducing food waste and it really got me thinking just how much food can get thrown out of our fridges or wasted.
While I am a little lucky, in, being a relatively small food blogger, most of my food is cooked, photographed (reheated) then eaten, but I guess that is not always the case. I still manage to always throw out something at the end of the week, and it makes me really sad.
So I’ve decided, in an effort to reduce my own personal food waste, I am going to a) try and use up all of the vegetables/fruits that I have and b) really try hard to use all my food during the week, and throwing less down the garbage disposal shoot.
This is where our carrot top pesto comes in.
Adam’s brother and sister in law have an epic vegetables garden back in Australia (which I’m kind of jealous about), and they grow a ton of beautiful vegetables, fruits and herbs. We were discussing the vegie garden the other day, and they told us they had been obsessing over carrot top pesto.
I was intrigued. I’ve never really heard of using that part of the carrot before, usually (I assume) you just chop it off and chuck it out, but did you know you can actually eat carrot tops?
They went on to kind of give me the gist of how to make it, and it turns out it is basically like making a regular pesto, but just with adding the extra carrot tops.
It is SUCH a great use of a vegetable that you’re more likely just going to end up throwing out.
For the pesto, I used a regular pesto base, substituting pine nuts with cashews. Why you ask? Well last time I bought pine nuts from the particular store I was going to I ended up with pine mouth (yep it’s a real thing, read about it here – it was horrible). So I didn’t trust the pine nuts, and I was in the mood for cashews.
Like most of my recipes, you can tweak the quantities – I made it, then added a little more lemon juice, and a little more olive oil. Go by taste and what you prefer in a pesto.
This pesto is so, so, so good, and after we made it the first time, we devoured it within a day. It is so light, fresh and crazy easy to make – We smothered it on salads, fish, potatoes and anything else we could get our hands on, it was that good!
We also ventured further into the realm of carrot top things, and made chimichurri, and even ventured into making radish top pesto – the verdict, carrot top is better! But that’s for another day!
So my friends, join me on my quest to reduce food wastage, I’d love for you to set your own challenge and see how much food you are wasting and how much food you save. If you’re not a food waster, I’d LOVE to hear how you manage to reduce your food wastage and tips and tricks you have up your sleeve!
For now, so long and happy carrot top pesto making – Georgie x x
Carrot Top Pesto
- 4 cups carrot tops fresh, leaves removed
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup olive oil note 2
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Harvest carrot top leaves, rinse well and leave to dry out.
- In a food processor, place carrot tops, basil, parmesan, cashews and alt and pulse, on and off 30 seconds.
- Add in lemon juice and zest.
- With motor running, slowly add the olive oil.
- Blitz pesto for about 1-2 minutes, until pesto has reached desired texture (note 3)
Note 1 - we used the tops of those little dutch carrots and get them from the local farmers market. The fresher the better, and organic if possible. They will wilt quickly, so it's best to make this immediately after you've bought the carrots.
Note 2 - 3/8's of a cup is almost half a cup of olive oil, but just less than a third! yes that is confusing, but start with a 1/4 of a cup, then add more oil 1 tablespoon at a time! This pesto is thick, if you want an oiler pesto I would cut back on the carrot top, or maybe up the olive oil quanitity.
Note 3 - we like ours a little chunky, but not overly smooth! It's a personal thing!
Help Me Out!
How much food do you think you waste? What strategies do you put into place to ensure you’re not wasting a ton of food?