Roasted Carrots + Carrot Top Pesto

Reducing food waste is so important to me.  Every day in the U.S., we toss beautiful, edible, nourishing food into our landfills. 

I’m wary not only for those who don’t know where they’ll get their next meal, but also because food waste is compromising our environment:

"In the U.S., the EPA estimates that more food reaches landfills than any other single material in our daily trash, about 21% of the waste stream.  Reducing food waste will help the U.S.  address climate change, as 20% of total U.S. methane emissions come from landfills."

- United States Environmental Protection Agency

I comb through the fridge weekly and am disheartened when I find something that’s unsalvageable.  But it’s tough to know how to repurpose a zucchini that’s on its way out, or a tomato that’s almost too soft to toss into a salad. 

That’s why I love recipes that create zero waste, like these roasted carrots drizzled with a pesto made from carrot leaves instead of basil (buh-bye half-consumed-wilted-container of basil). 

This recipe is an elegant starter, delicious alongside a roast chicken, or, with a fried egg on top, a perfect little weeknight dinner.

Do you find yourself throwing away any specific food consistently?  Let me know in the comments below and I will help you come up with a way to recycle it!

Change starts with us.  Let’s get creative.

Food La La Recipe:  Roasted Carrots + Carrot Top Pesto


  • 1.5 pounds carrots (with tops still attached)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • ½ cup (packed) basil
  • 1 lemon, zested then juiced
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Rinse and dry carrots, then cut off leafy tops, leaving about a 1” stem. 
  3. Roughly chop the carrot tops and set aside (will be about 1 cup greens).
  4. Toss carrots with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  5. Arrange carrots on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 30-35 minutes (until they’re tender enough to easily pierce with a fork).
  6. In a food processor, pulse the garlic and pine nuts together.
  7. Add basil, lemon juice and zest, chopped carrot tops, olive oil, and ½ tsp salt and pulse to desired thickness.  Add more olive oil if you want a thinner pesto.
  8. Arrange carrots on a platter and drizzle with pesto.
  9. Reserve any extra pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator.