Here’s one more way to cut back on kitchen waste: try cooking with your carrot tops! We’ve been seeing these nutritious greens popping up on restaurant menus and food blogs in all kinds of interesting ways: whizzed into pesto, blanched and dressed with sesame seeds or snipped into a pretty salad of shaved carrot coins.
And yes, despite what you may have heard, carrot tops are edible. You might already be tossing them into stocks, but how about showcasing their herbal, earthy, subtly carrot-ish flavor in one of these recipes instead? Their texture can be a little tough, so go for the leafy tops rather than the stems, and blanch them if needed.
Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto and Burrata
Serves 4 to 6
For the carrot top pesto:
|4||cups lightly packed washed carrot tops, stems discarded and|
|roughly chopped, a small handful reserved
Handful basil leaves
|1/2||cup walnuts, toasted|
|1||ounce grated Parmesan cheese|
|1||medium garlic clove, halved lengthwise|
|1||teaspoon Maldon or other flaky sea salt|
|1/2||cup extra-virgin olive oil|
For the carrots:
|20||small carrots, scrubbed and tops trimmed but stems left on|
|2||tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling|
|1||teaspoon plus a few pinches flaky salt|
|1/2||pound burrata, drained and at room temperature|
|3||tablespoons carrot top pesto, plus more to taste|
|Small handful basil leaves|
|Half a lemon|
|Bread, for serving (optional)
Make the pesto: Combine the carrot tops and basil in a food processor, pulse, then add the nuts, cheese, garlic, and salt. Pulse again, and then with the machine continuously running, add the oil in a thin stream. (You’ll have to stop to scrape down the sides a few times.) Taste and adjust for seasoning.
Make the carrots: Heat oven to 500° F with a rack in the center
Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into an ovenproof pan large enough to hold the carrots in a single layer (or do this step in two pans). Let the oil come to barely smoking over high heat, then add the carrots and stir to coat them in the oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt.
Cook, turning occasionally, until the carrots are browning in spots—this should take 6 to 8 minutes, and the carrots won’t yet be cooked through.
Once they’re nicely browned in spots, place the whole pan in the hot oven and roast, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender and cooked through, about 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
Toss the cooked carrots very gently, as they’ll be soft, with the prepared pesto, using more or less based on your taste. Transfer the coated carrots to a platter, and top with the burrata. (You may want to halve or quarter your burrata, depending on its size, but that part is up to you.)
Add a few more dollops of pesto to the carrots, here and there, and sprinkle each piece of burrata with a bit of flaky salt.
Dress the reserved handful of carrot top sprigs with a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, and a small pinch of salt, then top the carrots and burrata with the greens. Serve with toast for mopping up the cheese and bread, if you like.
Other Carrot Top Recipes to Try
- Grilled Cheese with Roasted Carrots & Carrot Green Pesto at Happy Yolks
- Moroccan Carrot & Chickpea Salad at 101 Cookbooks
- Roasted Carrot & Black Bean Tacos with Cilantro & Carrot Green Chimichurri at Rosemarried
- Carrot Greens with Sesame Dressing from Melissa Clark
- Velvety Carrot Soup with Carrot Top Pesto at Sunset