Play Me a Recipe

Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto and Burrata

May 12, 2015
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

This recipe is lightly adapted from April Bloomfield's "A Girl and Her Greens." If you can't find small carrots for this dish, just roll cut larger ones—I've done this successfully a few times.

This recipe was featured on our new cook-along podcast Play Me a Recipe. Listen as economics professor and author Emily Oster cooks her way through this recipe, offering insider tips and backstory along the way.Kenzi Wilbur

What You'll Need
  • For the carrot top pesto:
  • 4 cups lightly packed washed carrot tops, stems discarded and roughly chopped, a small handful reserved
  • Handful basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 medium garlic clove, halved lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon or other flaky sea salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • For the carrots:
  • 20 small carrots, scrubbed and tops trimmed but stems left on
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon plus a few pinches flaky salt
  • 1/2 pound burrata, drained and at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons carrot top pesto, plus more to taste
  • Small handful basil leaves
  • Half a lemon
  • Bread, for serving (optional)
  1. Make the pesto: Combine the carrot tops and basil in a food processor, pulse, then add the nuts, cheese, garlic, and salt. Pulse again, and then with the machine continuously running, add the oil in a thin stream. (You'll have to stop to scrape down the sides a few times.) Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  2. Make the carrots: Heat oven to 500° F with a rack in the center.
  3. Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into an ovenproof pan large enough to hold the carrots in a single layer (or do this step in two pans). Let the oil come to barely smoking over high heat, then add the carrots and stir to coat them in the oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt.
  4. Cook, turning occasionally, until the carrots are browning in spots—this should take 6 to 8 minutes, and the carrots won't yet be cooked through.
  5. Once they're nicely browned in spots, place the whole pan in the hot oven and roast, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender and cooked through, about 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  6. Toss the cooked carrots very gently, as they'll be soft, with the prepared pesto, using more or less based on your taste. Transfer the coated carrots to a platter, and top with the burrata. (You may want to halve or quarter your burrata, depending on its size, but that part is up to you.)
  7. Add a few more dollops of pesto to the carrots, here and there, and sprinkle each piece of burrata with a bit of flaky salt.
  8. Dress the reserved handful of carrot top sprigs with a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, and a small pinch of salt, then top the carrots and burrata with the greens. Serve with toast for mopping up the cheese and bread, if you like.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Taylor Stanton
    Taylor Stanton
  • Caroline Lan-Jan Harris
    Caroline Lan-Jan Harris
  • Courtney C
    Courtney C
  • Jamie Brean-Ng
    Jamie Brean-Ng
  • Casey Kirsch
    Casey Kirsch

13 Reviews

Taylor S. July 9, 2022
I’ve been wanting to make carrot top pesto for years and I finally made it happen thanks to this amazing recipe! Not sure if I’ll ever go back to making non-carrot top pesto now…
amv5169 January 19, 2022
We made this last night and it was all raves. Our Imperfect Produce had just delivered a beautiful bunch of carrots with lush carrot tops. I knew that the tops could be used, but how? I came to my trusty cooking source (Food52) and was not disappointed. A few substitutions had to be made since we have some diet restrictions. We substituted Parmesan and Mozzarella with Violife Plant Based Parmesan and a Miyokos Plant Based Mozzarella. It was a delicious.
Caroline L. December 25, 2018
This is a stunning and delicious, yet incredibly simple dish to make.
Courtney C. August 24, 2015
This was phenomenal. I picked up a bunch of carrots at the farmer's market yesterday and this was the perfect use for them. The pesto was awesome and I was happy to freeze it for later. I added a bit more cheese to the pesto and a bit of lemon juice as well. I also did all of the cooking in the oven as our stove is currently out of commission, but it worked well. The burrata brought everything together perfectly. It was a perfect vegetarian dinner.
Jamie B. June 9, 2015
Amazing!!! This could seriously be a main course. The only thing I did different was to add some lemon zest and juice to the pesto. I also found I had to add a bit more Olive oil to loosen up the pesto. Oh, and do not forget the crusty bread to mop up all the goodness!
Casey K. May 20, 2015
My grocery didn't have baby carrots with tops intact so I swapped out for arugula, and while I'm sure the carrot tops would only make this ever more delicious, the arugula worked well! As a mom to a tot, I'm always looking to lessen the load when it comes to cleaning pots/pans so instead of sautéing the carrots, I opted to roast at 375 for 10 mins, then turned up the heat to 500. Instead of juice, I zested the lemon, sprinkling each serving with a pinch, lending a beautiful color and pop of intense flavor! Will definitely be making this again and again!
Natalie T. May 17, 2015
I've made this 3 times since I found the recipe. Made a bunch of carrot top pesto, which is my new favorite thing. It freezes fantastically. Going to the market tomorrow to pick up more carrots with tops. Well done.
Betty J. May 16, 2015
I have been wanting to find a use for those delicious looking carrot tops--I have used them sprinkled on top of roasted vegetables. I am going to the farmers' market for baby carrots now. I will be making it without the cheese, as I am a vegan. Cheese is so wonderful but I had to give it up.
Jocelyn G. May 14, 2015
Hey - I have so many carrot tops left over. I was thinking of making more of the pesto and freezing it. What do you think about that? Thanks!
Kenzi W. May 15, 2015
Do it! It freezes very well.
Jocelyn G. May 13, 2015
My daughter apparently reads Food52 emails at school, because she texted me this afternoon asking if we could have it tonight. And so we did. It is really, really outstanding. We loved it. My only thought is to add some pepper in there somewhere to give it a little more zip. I wanted to sub in yogurt for the burrata, but that was a no go with the requester :).
Kenzi W. May 13, 2015
Wow. This comment makes me so, so happy. (And love the pepper suggestion—will try it next time!)
Jocelyn G. May 13, 2015
I'm glad :).