Ugly Produce. Delivered.

Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto

Photo & recipe by Maren Ellingboe

Photo & recipe by Maren Ellingboe

In honor of the final week of our #foodwastebingo challenge, we’re encouraging all of our customers to find new and delicious ways to turn around food waste in the kitchen. One of our favorite ways to do this is to embrace "root-to-leaf” recipes that make the most of parts of veggies that we might otherwise throw away.

This week is all about celebrating carrot tops! The leafy greens have a peppery taste similar to arugula, and make a delicious pesto to complement caramelized roasted carrots. Our friend Maren Ellingboe shared this recipe that is sure to make you love carrots from the bottom to the top!


  • 2 bunches small carrots*, with tops

  • 2 Tbsp + ½ cup olive oil*, divided

  • 1½ tsp kosher salt, divided

  • 1 c grated parmesan cheese

  • 1 c toasted hazelnuts or almonds, chopped

  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice*

    *Ingredient available to add to your Imperfect box 


  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Trim tops from carrots and set aside. Wash carrots well and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with 2 Tbsp olive oil and ½ tsp salt. Roast until well-browned, 20 to 25 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, make pesto: Add carrot tops, parmesan cheese, ¾ c nuts, olive oil and salt to the body of a food processor. Process until very smooth, adding more oil if needed. Taste, and season with lemon juice and more salt as desired.

  3. Spread pesto on a serving platter. Arrange carrots over pesto, and sprinkle with remaining nuts. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes and Variations

Choose carrots that are smaller in size (4-5 inches long) for maximum flavor. Try adding a drizzle of thinned Greek yogurt over the carrots for extra creaminess.

Don’t stop with carrot tops! The tops on many of your favorite root vegetables are perfectly edible. Think: roasted beets with beet greens sautéed in garlic and olive oil, or roasted radishes with radish top and arugula pesto.