This rustic side dish is a beautiful way to use carrots and their leafy green tops. Roasted carrots get elevated to centerpiece status with a drizzle of this carrot top and dill pesto. With just a few simple ingredients this zesty pesto can be whipped up in no time at all. No need to throw away those beautiful carrot tops because they will be thrown right on in with the pesto.
As I’m sure everyone who has ever been on my site before knows I have a deep love for going to my local farmers market. I was able to get this cute little carrots with giant, lush tops. In the past I have always thrown the tops away and or tossed them into my yard for whatever little creatures are around to enjoy. But a couple weeks ago I decided to try and figure out what to do with them. Plus I got like 3 lbs of fresh dill because it was just so pretty I couldn’t leave it behind and I needed something to use it with. Thus this beautiful pesto dish was born.
As with any recipe I usually start just experimenting to see what will magic will happen. In one of the first attempts I used A LOT of fresh garlic I picked up at the farmers market also. I wasn’t paying any attention and had picked up a variety of hardneck garlic with is more spicy and hot than the white, softneck garlic you typically will see in grocery stores. I am a garlic lover so I tossed a couple cloves in their minced to see what would happen.
My husband said that he could still taste the garlic in his mouth hours later so we decided that we should probably skip out on that in the next batch. Turns out the spicy hardneck garlic is much more flavorful when cooked rather than eaten raw. Lesson learned and now you know! Because of this mishap I made sure to include some plain old white garlic in the final version. I found that one clove was the perfect touch because the flavor wasn’t overpowering. If you are a garlic lover go ahead and throw in as much as you want!
What I really wanted to come out of the pesto was a zesty dill flavor with an undertone of the zippy carrot tops. In my last recipe attempt and the one I am sharing with you all I think I hit the nail on the head. It’s earthy and fresh and everything that I wanted it to be. I hope you enjoy preparing and eating it to!
Tips for Making Roasted Carrots with Dill Pesto
- Carrots with tops intact can be most easily located at a farmers market or maybe a grocery store with a great produce section. If you are unable to located carrots with tops fresh parsley can be substituted for the carrot tops in an equal amount.
- I do not peel my carrots because they are organic and I don’t think the peel effects the taste. Just make sure you rinse and scrub them to remove any residual dirt. I won’t judge if you still want to peel them though.
- This pesto does not just have to be used on carrots. Throw it on any other vegetable or toast or pasta. Basically it will go great on anything!
- 1 lb Carrots Scrubbed and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 Cup Carrot Tops De-stemmed and roughly chopped
- 1/2 Cup Fresh Dill Roughly chopped
- 1/2 Cup Pecans Roughly chopped
- 1 Clove Garlic Minced
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Mustard
- 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. While oven is heating remove carrot tops and rinse the carrots and peel if desired.
On a sheet pan lay the carrots in an even layer and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Roast carrots for 20 minutes or until they are tender and easily pierced with a fork. Cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of your carrots so check frequently at the 15 minute mark.
While the carrots are roasting add all ingredients for the dill pesto to a food processor and process until everything is finely chopped and well incorporated. Add more olive oil at this time if a more liquid consistency is desired.
Once carrots have finished roasted serve warm with the pesto drizzled over top.
If you do not have a food processor all of the ingredients for the pesto may be finely chopped and well mixed in a bowl.
An equal amount of parsley can also be substituted for the carrot tops if none can be found!