Delicious baby carrots are roasted to intensify their natural sweetness and topped with a vegan dairy-free pesto made from their green tops.
I love carrots. Raw, roasted or steamed they are an amazing budget friendly vegetable that almost everyone always has in their fridge.
My favourite way to eat carrots is raw, in salads, but roasted carrots are definitely a close second. Roasting them intensifies their delicious natural sweetness and adds a wonderful, lightly caramelised flavour.
When roasting I like to go for baby carrots which are sweeter, and less woody than their adult counterparts, and you’ll usually find them with their tops still attached, which is where this lovely carrot top pesto comes in.
While myths abound that carrot tops are poisonous they aren’t, and what I love about this pesto is that something that so many of us simply trim off and throw in the rubbish turns into something so delicious that you’ll soon find yourself buying baby carrots simply for their delicious leafy tops! Yay for less food waste!
So tell me, do you eat carrot tops? What are your favourite ways to eat them?
Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto
- 1 bunch of baby/Dutch carrots with their tops
- 2 tsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups rocket leave arugula
- 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 1/2 cups carrot tops
- 3/4 cup flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp heaped dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180 celsius (350 Fahrenheit). Wash the carrots well and leave the skins on unless they are particularly grotty. Trim the tops and add to a roasting dish and toss with the oil and salt and pepper. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. The exact timing will depend on the size of your carrots so check after 25 minutes to gauge how they are doing.
- While the carrots are roasting place a frying pan over a low heat and add the sunflower seeds. Toss or stir every couple of minutes until they are lightly golden and smell nutty. Place 1/4 cup of the seeds aside to sprinkle over before serving.
- To make the pesto place all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary. If this is your first time making a parmesan free pesto you will need to add a lot more salt than you would normally to counteract the fact the naturally salty parmesan is replaced by the nutritional yeast.
- When the carrots are ready you have a choice. You can serve them hot or leave them to cool. I personally prefer to let the carrots cool to room temperature and eat this as more of a salad, but the choice is yours. When you are ready to serve place the rocket (arugula) on a large serving dish and top with the roasted carrots and dollops of the pesto before adding a final sprinkling of the reserved sunflower seeds.