April 10, 2020

Roasted Carrots With Carrot-Top Pesto

Recipe: Antoni Porowski

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

“I love carrots pretty hard, and I really get off on figuring out uses for parts of an ingredient I might normally toss,” says Queer Eye‘s culinary expert, Antoni Porowski. “The ‘discovery’ of using carrot tops to make pesto (I’m not the first to think of it) is a great example.”


  • 2 bunches medium carrots with tops (10 to 12 carrots)
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1⁄3 cup plus 1 1⁄2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1⁄2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1⁄2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 2 oz.)
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Roast Carrots

  1. Heat oven to 425°F, with racks in middle and lower third.
  2. Leaving about 1″ of stems on, cut off tops from carrots and reserve. (The little bits of stems that you leave on the carrots, which turn crispy during roasting, are freakin’ delicious. You’ll thank me later.)
  3. Rinse carrots and pat dry (don’t peel). If carrots are larger than 1⁄2″ to 3⁄4″ in diameter at top end, cut in half lengthwise.
  4. Arrange carrots on baking sheet. Drizzle with vinegar, 1 1⁄2 tablespoons of oil and 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt, and toss to coat. Arrange carrots in single layer and roast on lower oven rack until golden and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Make Carrot-Top Pesto

  1. Meanwhile, spread pine nuts on small baking sheet (or in pie pan). Toast on middle oven rack, stirring once or twice, until lightly golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer to plate and let cool.
  2. Pull off enough leaves from carrot tops to yield 2 packed cups; wash and spin-dry.
  3. In food processor, pulse garlic and toasted pine nuts to coarse paste. Add carrot tops, Parmesan and 1⁄4 teaspoon of salt, and pulse again to combine, scraping down sides of bowl once or twice. While processing, add remaining 1⁄3 cup of oil in slow, steady stream. (I like to keep my pesto rather thick for this recipe and then drizzle the dish later with more olive oil. If you prefer a looser pesto, add 1 to 2 tablespoons more oil.)


  1. When carrots are ready, spread 1⁄4 cup of yogurt on serving platter. Pile carrots on top. Dollop with remaining 3⁄4 cup of yogurt, then spoon pesto on top. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with pepper.

Paul Brissman


Adapted from Antoni in the Kitchen by Antoni Porowski with Mindy Fox. Photography © 2019 by Paul Brissman. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mi in Harcourt.