The Whole Carrot-
I love finding ways to reduce kitchen waste, and use all of something rather than throwing half of it away. Whether you grow your own carrots or buy them with the tops on, if you have thrown the tops away in the past, this is the time to stop doing that! With this recipe for Roasted Rainbow Carrots and Carrot Top Pesto, I am going to show you how to use it all, and only throw away a minimal amount.
I love carrots for their versatility. They are great raw, cooked, pickled, you name it. I especially love buying them in different colors when I can find them. I can’t tell a difference in flavor, but the colors sure do make a dish pop. The best part? They stay that vibrant hue after they are cooked!
It is important to note that if you are not going to cook this dish shortly after bringing the carrots home, that you need to cut the tops off and store them separately. If you leave the tops on, they will pull moisture out of the carrots and cause them to wilt much faster.
Carrot top pesto? Oh yeah! This is so easy to make, and carrot tops are fantastic. They have a mild carrot-like flavor with just a hint of bitterness. This pesto makes a great accompaniment to the roasted carrots, but you don’t have to stop there. You can make a double or even triple batch of the pesto to have extra for other uses. It’s great tossed with pasta (hot or cold), dolloped on top of soup, or on other roasted vegetables. I have purposely used a small amount of salt here for a few reasons: first, the carrots have a little bit of salt on them already, and because the parmesan cheese itself is salty and the carrot tops themselves have a slightly salty taste.
Any size and diameter of carrot can be used. If they are large, you will want to cut them in half lengthwise, or even in quarters lengthwise if the carrots are really big. Once cut, they should be around a quarter of an inch thick.
Definitely! You can also buy bagged rainbow carrots if they are available and also buy orange carrots with the tops and use the tops only and save the orange carrots for another use. I always seem to have an abundance of carrots in my fridge, they’re great with anything!
This reheats really well! You can even make these ahead and reheat them later if you are meal prepping. You can even make the pesto ahead of time and when you are ready to roast the carrots, just pull the pesto out of the fridge to come to room temperature while you cut and roast the carrots.
Oh yes! I like using them in salads as an addition to other greens. You can add them to stocks as well. In fact, the carrot top stems and the carrot ends that will be left after making this dish can be saved to put in chicken or vegetable stock.
I love these carrots served with a roast chicken, pork tenderloin, or pot roast. They would be a nice side to serve with my Cheeseburger Macaroni From Scratch as well. If you are a Vegetarian, these carrots would be great alongside a soup such as my Cream Of Asparagus Soup or in the Fall, my Risotto with Sweet Meat Squash. These would also be quite nice as an extra side dish served with my Sheet Pan Salmon and Asparagus with Orzo.
They are a fabulous departure from the usual steamed carrots. Be sure to toss them in the pesto after they are done roasting, this ensures you don’t burn the pesto in the oven.
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator tightly wrapped for up to five days. If you have extra pesto, you could save it for a pasta dish, but it’s best to use it within five days. I hope you love this recipe, and if you have made these carrots please leave a comment below, and share with your friends on social media. I love hearing from all of you, and Happy Cooking!
For the Carrots
- 6 medium to large Rainbow Carrots
- 1 Tbsp Avocado Oil
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
For the Carrot Top Pesto
- Carrot Tops from one bunch of Carrots, about 1 1/2 cups
- 1/4 cup Walnuts
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
- 2-4 Tbsp Avocado Oil
- Turn the oven on to 450 Degrees. While the oven heats, remove the tops from the carrots (if that has not already been done earlier) and set aside for the pesto. Cut the carrots lengthwise in half, thirds, or in quarters depending on the size of the carrots. They should be about a quarter of an inch thick after being cut.
- Place the carrots on a baking sheet and toss with 1 Tbsp avocado oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Place carrots in the oven and bake for 30 to 45 minutes until a fork easily pierces the thickest part of the carrots, being sure to stir them around every ten minutes or so during cooking.
- While the carrots roast, remove the leaves of the carrot tops from their stems, and either discard stems or save for using in stock.
- Place all pesto ingredients except the oil into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to break things up a little. Then, with the food processor running, slowly add the oil until it makes a thick paste. It should take around 2 to 4 Tbsp of oil to achieve the desired consistency.
- Once the carrots are roasted and out of the oven, toss with the pesto to coat and serve.
If there is extra pesto remaining, it can be saved to toss with pasta or add a spoonful to a bowl of soup.
Be sure to remove the tops from the carrots prior to cooking if you are not planning to make this dish right away after getting the carrots home. This will prevent the carrots from wilting.
If you cant find rainbow carrots, you can certainly use all orange for this recipe, or even all purple.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 360Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 569mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g
All information presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist or registered dietitian and any nutritional information should only be used as a general guideline. Statements within this site have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is provided for recipes contained on this site. This information comes from online calculators. Although The Copper Table attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.