Carrot Top, Fennel Frond Pesto

Today’s my blog’s 11th birthday. I was going to do a post about that, but there’s really not much to say that I didn’t already say last year (see: Ten Years a Food Blogger). So instead of a navel-gazing post, here’s a produce-maximizing post. It’s a post that came about through necessity.

See, my CSA came this weekend, and after I unpacked it, I was a little angry. Look at the photo above: there were 4 or 5 dinky carrots attached to a huge mound of carrot greens. And a fine bulb of fennel attached to so many wisps of fennel fronds, it looked like Rapunzel. What was a responsible food blogger to do?

The answer came via Instagram: make pesto!

Oh, right. Pesto. You can make pesto out of anything–(there are many posts about this on the interwebs)–so why not carrot tops and fennel fronds? Here’s what I did: I hacked them off. With the fennel fronds, I got rid of the thick, branchy parts; with the carrot tops, I just used them all. First, I blended 3 fat garlic cloves with a handful of whole almonds (walnuts would work here too; or pine nuts, if you can afford them) and a pinch of salt. Then in went the greens:


Zap that with a stream of olive oil until it looks like this:


Add lemon juice and Parmesan to taste and there you are: the most resourceful pesto in the world.

Now, as a pasta maniac, my natural impulse would be to boil some penne, stir this in, add some chunks of mozzarella and cherry tomatoes and call it lunch. But I had all of those beautiful vegetables that came in my CSA–frisée notwithstanding–and so I cut them all up for a salad.


And turned the pesto into a salad dressing by adding a glug of white wine vinegar and more oil; here, isn’t that pretty?


Nothing went to waste and it all tasted swell. How’s that for an 11th anniversary post? Still got it.

10 thoughts on “Carrot Top, Fennel Frond Pesto”

  1. I’ve got to try that. I had the same reaction to that Summerland box. And the hubby hates fennel, so at least now I can use the green parts in something.

    1. Try roasting the fennel with some yellow summer squash. The fennel comes out sweet and the squash is buttery and it is an amazing combination!

  2. Hello,
    My name is Katrina, and I am a first time blogger.
    It’s been 1 year since I have started blogging, and I have been trying to get my first free giveaway started. I have a company that is willing to work with me, but I am confused at the same time. And that’s where my question come into play, they will send me out VIP coupons. How does VIP coupons work and are they use like regular coupons?
    Thank you very much for your time, I will be looking forward to hearing from you.
    Warm regards,

  3. Do you think the CSA produce tastes any better (especially given the cost and how much extra scrap tops they included in this box?)

    1. It usually tastes about the same but you get to support a small farmer with your dollars directly, rather than some souless conglomerate factory farm using illegal labor and chemicals, etc…

  4. Cynthia Robinson

    YUM… Making this today but using Champagne Vinegar instead!

    Would love the pasta dish…but on KTO & THIS fits PERFECTLY!

Let's dish!

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