basil and carrot top pesto

Pesto is among the best things on earth, if you ask me. An unassuming green paste that instantly transforms whatever you put it on into savory heaven! Which is why I had to create this oil-free basil and carrot top pesto recipe. Really, most of that rich flavor comes from the other ingredients, not the oil. Then just toss out the cheese, toss in some nutritional yeast and roasted garlic, and you’ve got an bright, herby DASH-friendly pesto that will treat your taste buds right. Oh, and it’s also ridiculously easy to make–all you need is a food processor!


Makes about 9 servings (3 tbsp = 1 serving)

  • 2 cups fresh basil (mostly leaves over stems), lightly packed
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh carrot tops (mostly leaves over stems), lightly packed
  • 1 head roasted garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Wash and spin dry the greens. Squeeze out or peel the garlic from the skin. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely minced and well combined.

Oil-free pesto keeps well in the fridge for several days (it may darken in color as it oxidizes, but don’t worry it’s still tastes good), and it also freezes well for later use. I highly recommend making a big batch and freezing several portions for later!

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