Carrot Top Pesto
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 of a lemon)
1 tsp lemon zest (about 1/2 of a lemon)
carrot tops from 1 bunch of carrots (about 1 cup blanched)
1/4 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
To blanch the carrot tops, chop off the carrot tops from the carrots and remove the thick stemmed pieces. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the carrot tops to the pot and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the pot, drain the hot water, and immediately add the carrot tops to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
Drain the carrot tops, wring out excess liquid, and spread them on a plate to dry while you do the remaining recipe prep.
Add all of the ingredients from garlic through walnuts (if using) to the food processor. Blend until a chunky paste forms with small bits of carrot tops. Depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to stop frequently to scrape down the sides. Add the olive oil, 1 Tbsp at a time, until combined. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice if desired.
To use as a pasta sauce, cook your pasta in salted water according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot. Add the reserved cooking water and carrot top pesto, stir to combine, and cook over low heat until warmed.
Otherwise, once cooled to room temperature, store the pesto in the fridge in an airtight container for several days. The bright green color may fade to a slightly darker green, and this is totally normal. You can use this pesto as a dip for crackers, on bread, or even as a salad dressing.
Picture and recipe adapted from: https://yupitsvegan.com/carrot-top-pesto/