Carrot-Top Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

This simple pesto recipe could be used with almost any green.
August 16, 2016, 12:32pm
Carrot-Top Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

Servings: 6
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 45 minutes


for the pesto:
1 pound carrot tops, cleaned and roughly chopped
12 ounces Parmesan cheese
8 ounces toasted nuts, preferably cashews
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 lemon, tested, plus juice to taste
2 cups olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the pasta salad:
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound pasta, preferably orecchiette
25-30 cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup carrot-top pesto
1 cucumber, halved and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 shallot, thinly sliced and soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, then drained
2 carrots with greens



1. Make the pesto: In a blender or food processor, combine the carrot greens, parmesan cheese, nuts, garlic, and lemon zest and pulse until coarse. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until slightly smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and lemon juice. You can freeze the pesto until ready to use.

2. Make the pasta salad: Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Transfer to a bowl.

3. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400°F|200°C. On a baking sheet, toss the tomatoes with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook until they just start to burst, about 8 minutes. Cool slightly before tossing with the pesto, cucumber, and shallot.

4. Clean the carrot greens and, using your hands, tear into 1-inch pieces. Add it to the pasta salad. Peel the carrots and add the peels to the pasta salad. Toss well and season with salt and pepper.