Daucus carota subsp. Sativus

Commonly known as carrot.
Family: Apiaceae.
Genus: Daucus.
Species: D. carota.

We always strive to find new ways to be more sustainable in our lifestyle and so when my mother-in-law gave us some carrots from her garden with their beautiful tops, I immediately started to think about how to use those beautiful green leaves.

How do Carrot Tops Taste Like?

As much as carrots themselves can be quite sweet, carrot tops are quite salty and a tad tangy in flavor. They slightly remind of carrots, but have completely different notes and aftertaste. They are perfect to add some flavor to various dishes, both raw and cooked.

Did you know? Not only are carrot tops edible, but they are also rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, and iron

How to use Carrot Tops - The Adagio Blog

How to Cook Carrot Tops

We’ve used in our cooking carrot tops several times now and I can say they taste very good both cooked and eaten raw, so following are a few ways I recommend you and in the end you’ll find the recipe for a delicious Carrot Top Pesto.

  1. Make your salads interesting by adding grossly chopped carrot tops
  2. Since they’re so full of flavor, carrot tops are perfect to add some deeper flavor and intensity to your vegetable or meat stock
  3. Add a few leaves from a carrot top to enrich your soffritto (finely diced and sauteed onion, carrot and celery that make up the essence of many Italian recipes, such as Ragù alla Bolognese)
  4. Finely chop carrot tops and add them to your side dishes. I loved it with sauteed zucchini and pumpkin for example
  5. Sprinkle some finely chopped carrot tops on a fish dish or on a steak
  6. Make it a star and use it as the main side dish just by sauteing it with finely chopped onions and some garlic
  7. Add carrot tops to a minestrone or a soup
  8. Make some tasty Carrot Top Pesto and use it to season your pasta or in creative ways, such as a dressing for baked fish
Carrot Top Pesto Zero-Waste Recipe - The Adagio Blog

Carrot Top Pesto

This flavorful pesto works great as a condiment for pasta, but also I find it works especially well with fish, so consider adding some diced fish to your pasta sauce or use the pesto as a dressing for an oven baked fish.
Prep Time5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: no-waste
Keyword: carrot top, pesto
Author: Thais FK


  • 2 carrot tops
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 40 g nuts such as walnuts or cashews
  • Pinch of salt


  • Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until the desired texture (some like it smooth, some like it a little grainy).
  • Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week. Alternatively you can freeze the nettle pesto and thaw it overnight in a refrigerator.
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Nordic Foraging project by Thais FK supported by Taike

Supported by Taike

Thais FK

Italian photographer, recipe developer and content creator, Thais came to Finland by chance, but stayed for love. Through photography she tells stories about traveling, eating, cooking and living sustainably, in order to discover new cultures and not to forget her origins. Thais FK's portfolio: thaisfk.com

October 8, 2021



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