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Carrot Top Arugula Pesto

Scott Phillips

Yield: Makes 1-1/4 cups

Don’t throw out those carrot tops! They make a vibrant pesto, with rich flavor from toasted walnuts instead of the traditional pine nuts. Arugula adds a peppery bite. The pesto pairs perfectly with grilled or roasted carrots, and is also wonderful swirled into a summery vegetable soup as a finishing touch.


  • 4 oz. coarsely chopped toasted walnuts (1 cup)
  • 3 oz. coarsely chopped carrot tops (2-1/2 packed cups)
  • 2 oz. arugula (1 packed cup)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice; more to taste
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size per 1 Tbs.
  • Calories (kcal) : 110
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 110
  • Fat (g): 12
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 85
  • Carbohydrates (g): 1
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Sugar (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 1


  • Pulse the walnuts, carrot tops, arugula, garlic, lemon juice, and 1-1/2 tsp. salt in a food processor until finely chopped.
  • With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil. Season to taste with salt or lemon juice, and thin to your desired consistency with water. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 6 months.


Rate or Review

Reviews (1 review)

  • Hassab | 08/30/2020

    I got carrots in my CSA this week and as usual felt guilty about the idea of throwing away the glorious tops. I never knew what to do with them. I haven't roasted the carrots yet, but I made the pesto and it will now be my go-to any time I get carrots in my box. A few minor adjustments - I don't like raw garlic so I toasted it, which mellows the flavor, and it seemed bitter but adding a little bit more lemon (as suggested in the recipe) took care of most of that, but I still felt the recipe needed something sweet for balance, so I added a 4-5 leaves of fresh basil. Perfect! I encourage anyone making this to taste and adjust, everyone likes their salt/lemon/bitter/sweet ratios differently so make it perfect for you. I have used this on my eggs, in a crudite and in a mayo so far. I'm sure there will be many, many more uses. Thanks for another keeper!

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