Carrot Top-Kale Pesto
Recipe type: Gluten free, Paleo, Whole30, Sauce
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1.25 cups
Carrot top-kale pesto is dairy free, easy to make, packed with healthy greens, and delicious on almost anything. If you don't have carrot tops, you can use basil or cilantro instead!
  • 1.5 cups lightly packed carrot tops (tough stems removed), coarsely chopped*
  • Dark green parts of 1 bunch scallions (about 8), chopped
  • 2 large (or 4 small) kale leaves (stems removed), torn into pieces
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts (or almonds)**
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Make sure the carrot tops, scallions, and kale have been thoroughly washed and dried (I put them all in my salad spinner, rinse them a couple of times, and then spin them dry.)
  2. Put the greens, ½ cup of olive oil, and ½ teaspoon sea salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for a minute or so until well combined.
  3. Add the pine nuts and 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and pulse a few more times until the nuts are incorporated. If you'd like a thinner pesto, add more olive oil in a slow, steady stream with the food processor running (I like to add 3-4 tablespoons).
  4. Taste the pesto and add salt, lemon juice, and/or freshly ground black pepper if desired.
*If you don't have carrot tops, you can substitute basil and/or cilantro.

**To toast pine nuts, place them in a dry skillet over medium-low to medium heat and toss frequently until they're lightly browned (3-5 minutes). Don't turn your back on them, and take them off the heat right away once they're golden.

Extra pesto will keep in the fridge for a few days. Put it in a bowl or jar, smooth out the top, and pour a thin layer of olive oil on to protect it from the air.

I've also frozen this pesto (but only for two weeks because I was so excited to use it in a pesto frittata). I scooped tablespoons of it onto a parchment-lined plate, put the plate in the freezer until the pesto dollops were frozen, and then transferred them into a zip-top bag. I defrosted the pesto in the microwave. The frittata came out great!
Recipe by A Calculated Whisk at