Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto Recipe | PBS Food

Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto

Roasted carrots served with aromatic carrot top pesto make for a bright summery side dish. (Recipe Credit: Aube Giroux of Kitchen Vignettes)


Yield: Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto


  • For the Roasted Carrots:
  • Around 16 medium freshly-harvested local carrots with their tops
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • For the Carrot Top Pesto:
  • About 2 cups tightly-packed carrot tops (blanched for 30 seconds and drained)
  • About 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup freshly-grated parmesan
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Scrub the carrots well, rinse and dry. Do not peel. Trim off the carrot tops and reserve. Massage the olive oil onto the carrots so they are all evenly covered. Place the carrots in a single layer in a large oven-proof baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 35 minutes or until they are nicely golden and tender all the way through when pierced with a fork. (You can cover the baking dish with a lid for the first 15 minutes of cooking if you wish to retain some of the moisture from the carrots, but this is optional).
  2. Meanwhile, blanch the carrot tops by dunking them for 30 seconds into a pot of boiling water. (Some people skip this step, it’s entirely up to you). Remove them, rinse with cold water, and pat them dry. Remove any large tough stems, and place 2 cups of the leafy greens into a food processor with all the other ingredients except the olive oil, pulsing until roughly chopped. Gradually add in the olive oil, processing until the pesto reaches the desired consistency. (I like mine with small chunks, not too smooth, and a lot of olive oil. Feel free to adjust to your liking). Taste the pesto and if you wish, add a little more salt, olive oil, or lemon juice to suit your personal taste. Voila. Drizzle pesto on top of roasted carrots and serve. This is delicious served with a little labneh, ricotta or burrata served on top. Any remaining pesto should keep in the fridge for about a week.
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