Carrot Top Pesto

Makes about 1 cup

This makes a thick pesto, perfect for spreading on crackers or sandwiches or on puff-pastry tarts (as pictured). Alternatively, thin it out with more olive oil and use it as a dip for vegetables or as a sauce for pasta. I’m using the word “pesto” loosely here, as there’s no cheese, but the carrot greens and sunflower seeds are so flavorful that you won’t miss it.

If you can’t find unsalted sunflower seeds, it’s OK to use salted ones, just add the sea salt to taste (you most likely won’t need to).


Greens from 1 medium-size bunch of carrots (to make about 1 cup after blanching and chopping)

1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds, toasted

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


Fill a medium-size pot with water and bring it to a boil over high heat.

Prepare an ice bath: Fill a medium-size bowl with ice and water.

Once the water is boiling, add the carrot greens to the pot, pushing down with tongs to make sure they all get in the water, and blanch for 1 minute.

Drain the pot into a colander and transfer the greens to the ice bath with the tongs to stop the cooking process. Let the greens cool completely and drain them.

Squeeze any remaining water from the greens and roughly chop them.

In a food processor, pulse the greens, sunflower seeds, garlic, lemon juice and salt, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Then add the olive oil and process again until smooth.

Adapted from "Cooking with Scraps" by Lindsay-Jean Hard.

Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.

Food editor and chief critic

Eating all of the chicken livers just as fast as I can.

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