This pesto is an inventive way to use every part of the vegetable. The tender tops are fresh and clean-tasting and mimic the flavor of the carrot itself.
Roasted Carrots with Carrot-Top Pesto
3 pounds small carrots with tops (any color)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons macadamia nuts or pine nuts
1/2 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400°. Trim carrot tops, leaving some stem attached. Measure out 2 cups carrot tops and set aside; reserve any remaining carrot tops for another use.
Toss carrots and vegetable oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until carrots are golden brown and tender, 25–35 minutes. Let cool.
Pulse garlic and nuts in a food processor until a coarse paste forms. Add basil, Parmesan, and reserved carrot tops; process until a coarse purße forms. Add olive oil and pulse until combined; season with salt and pepper. Serve carrots with pesto.
DO AHEAD: Pesto can be made 1 day ahead. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface; chill. Carrots can be roasted 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.