I hate to waste produce. So when I found myself with a huge bag of carrot top greens after buying some organic carrots, I knew I needed to put them to good use.

Enter carrot top pesto. Carrot top greens have an almost spicy-strong flavor and are delicious. Win win for the environment and your taste buds. This pesto comes together quickly with toasted pistachios and lemon juice, and is naturally vegan. I think the pesto would be great on just about anything but I really went wild and used carrot top pesto to add to corn and bean salad.

I love a good corn and bean salad and wanted to do something a little less traditional. The carrot top pesto makes for a fun and unexpected twist to the sweet crispy corn and creamy black beans. A few sliced carrots add more color and crunch. This dish is great as a side or meal on it’s own and can be enjoyed cold or at room temperature, making it perfect for an outdoor gathering or picnic.

Just a few ingredients and you can have yourself a filling salad full of vegetables and protein. Make your summer meals a little more interesting with carrot top pesto!

Corn & Black Bean Salad with Carrot Top Pesto
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
Fresh summer corn and creamy black beans tossed in a salad with carrot top and pistachio pesto.
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 ears sweet summer corn, boiled, kernels removed
  • 2-3 medium carrots, diced
Carrot Top Pesto
  • 1 c fresh carrot top greens
  • ⅓ c toasted pistachios*
  • ⅓ c extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • ½ t salt/to taste
  • ¼ t ground black pepper
  1. Prepare the pesto by adding the carrot top greens to a blender or food processor. Run for about 1 minute to break up the greens. Add the pistachios, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to the food processor and blend until smooth, about 3-5 minutes depending on the strength of your machine. Taste and season with additional lemon juice, olive oil, and/or salt as desired.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the beans, corn, and carrots until well mixed. Stir in about half the pesto and toss to coat. Taste and add more pesto as desired, you may or may not use all of the pesto.
  3. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve. This salad tastes good cold or at room temperature.
If you are not using toasted pistachios (I used raw pistachio nut meats), I recommend toasting and cooling your pistachios before making the pesto. Add the pistachios in a thin layer to a cold skillet. Heat the skillet to medium, and toast, gently tossing every few minutes, until the pistachios begin to smell fragrant. Remove and allow to cool before using. Note that the pistachios can quickly burn when toasting.


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