Carrot Top Pesto

“Sunday suppers are a longstanding tradition at my father’s house. With my stepmother’s Italian heritage, the extravagant weekend meal reflects her upbringing. A hearty lasagna or a light scampi with fettuccine and fresh basil usually graced the table, although a slow cooked pot roast or roasted ham were known to make an appearance on more than one occasion. It was not until I moved to North Carolina that I learned that that tradition I grew up with in my fathers’ house was not just exclusive to the household but etched into the heritage of the south.

Our careers in the kitchen has our free time varied from almost everyone else; our breakfast happens around everyone else’s lunch time and our busiest times are everyone else’s time off, yet we are extremely fortunate to work in a restaurant where we have two days off consecutively so we are still able to keep up with the tradition of Sunday suppers.

Whenever the menu on a Sunday calls for any type of a roast, our staple side dish is our roasted baby carrots with an arugula and carrot top pesto. The pesto is nice and bright to offset the rich earthiness of the roasted baby carrots. The recipe for the pesto itself will make about one pint of sauce, which will be plenty to garnish the carrots and enough to spread on a week’s worth of sandwiches. The carrots themselves will be enough for a side dish for two.

The past few weeks we talked about how simple kitchen tools are great; however, having some power tools in the kitchen is a time saving necessity. A food processor is key for making pesto, crushing entire pecans for the next pecan pie and making your own hummus. Look for a food processor with a smooth cutting edge. When the blade dulls over time a smooth-edged blade is easier to sharpen making the lifetime of the machine that much longer.” – Joe


  • 1 bundle of baby carrots – greens removed and washed

  • 2 sprigs thyme

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1 cup arugula

  • 1 cup toasted almonds

  • 0.5 cup + 2 teaspoons organic olive oil


  1. Trim the carrot greens about a half inch above where the carrots and greens meet and set aside to wash.

  2. Use the tip of a paring knife to clean out any dirt that may still be tucked into the space where the carrot and greens meet.

  3. Toss the carrots and thyme in the two teaspoons of olive oil and set on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.

  4. Place in a preheated 425 degrees Fahrenheit oven for twenty minutes or until soft.

  5. Place the remaining ingredients with the exception of the olive oil into a food processor and pulse to combine.

  6. Turn the food processor on to the maximum setting and drizzle the olive oil in. Add more oil if deemed necessary and season to your taste.

  7. Remove the carrots from the cookie sheet and place on a serving plate. Garnish by dolloping the pesto over the carrots.

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