Carrot Top Pesto

Tupelo CSA member Rebecca Fish shared this tasty recipe for making use of an often-overlooked part of the share: the tops, or greens, of root vegetables. “Wonderful roasted carrots with Rachel Ray's carrot top pesto—all from this weeks share!” she writes.

Thanks for the tip, Rebecca! If you have a recipe success made with ingredients from your share, please share it with the whole CSA! The “C” is for “Community,” after all.


  • 2 cups leafy carrot tops (from one bunch) stems trimmed, soaked in cold water and drained well
  • 1/4 cup tarragon leaves, stemmed
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley tops
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • About 1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds and pine nuts, combined
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • A couple of handfuls of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, about 1/2 cup
  • About 5-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 pound whole wheat or farro penne rigate    


Place carrot tops, tarragon, parsley, garlic, nuts (reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish), lemon juice, salt, pepper and cheese in a food processor. Pulse chop into finely chopped mixture then stream in extra virgin olive oil until pesto begins to pull away from sides of food processor. Transfer to serving bowl.    

Bring water to a rolling boil for the pasta; salt the water and cook pasta to al dente.  Reserve about 1 cup of starchy water just before draining the pasta. Drain pasta.

Add half the starchy water to the bowl with the pesto along with the pasta and toss. Adjust seasoning and use additional hot water to thin as necessary to coat pasta evenly.

Top pasta with remaining nuts and pass cheese at table.    You can eat this pasta hot, room temp or cold for lunch the next day.