Vegetarian carrot top pesto pizza is made for weeknights. It is ready in 30 minutes and is the perfect make-ahead meal. Save your carrot tops for this delicious pesto!
Hey there, Spoonful of Flavor readers! This is Lisa, and I share my kitchen adventures over at Healthy Nibbles & Bits. Thanks, Ashley, for letting me hop over and play with you all today!
I know we haven’t known each other for long, but can you keep a secret? I have a teensy bit of a pizza obsession. It’s been my comfort food of choice since I was a kid, when I discovered the glory of Costco pizzas. Not so much for my parents though. You see, even though they’ve lived in America for almost 30 years now, they still haven’t adapted to “foreign” flavors. Whenever they eat anything that’s not Chinese, they always prepare a bowl of cooked rice on the side to cleanse their palette. On our pizza nights, my parents would nibble on a few bites of pizza and then shovel down mouthfuls of rice. I guess that’s where I picked up my carb-eating ways.
What is your pizza crust personality? Do you like it thin, deep dish, doughy, or stuffed with cheese? I’m a sucker for the thin stuff. It can be tricky to make thin crust pizzas from scratch, so I’m going to share with you a nice little trick that I use all the time. I usually keep a stack of naan bread around the house for making quick and easy pizzas. I just slather on my favorite sauce, some toppings and, like magic, thin crust pizza in less than 30 minutes! I also make several pizzas at a time, and refrigerate or freeze leftovers for those days when I don’t care for cooking. (Yes, a food blogger needs a break from cooking, too!)
I often buy bunches of carrots with their tops attached, and I feel bad about discarding the tops into the trash even though they are perfectly edible. I’ve tried chopping them up and tossing them into salads, but I find the carrot tops to be too prickly. But when you blend it into a pesto with a handful of pesto, it becomes the next big thing since sliced bread. Plus, carrot tops keep in the fridge for a very long time. I usually trim the tops from the carrots, store them in a plastic bag, and they’ll stay green for 2 to 3 weeks.
There’s one more thing about this pesto that makes it special: miso paste. Ethnic confusion? Not quite. I’ve made pesto sauces that are seasoned with salt before, and they are nowhere near as good as the miso version. That’s because the paste packs a ton of umami flavor in addition to salt. I’ve been adding miso so many other sauces lately, and I love the results. Here’s your chance to try it in a recipe!
Are you ready to have some fun in the kitchen? Let’s do this.
Vegetarian Carrot Top Pesto Pizza
Yield: 4 individual size pizzas
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
These flavorful carrot top pesto pizzas are made for weeknights. They’re ready in 30 minutes and are the perfect make-ahead meal. Save your carrot tops for this delicious pesto!
For the Pesto Sauce:
- 1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed
- 3/4 cup trimmed carrot tops, loosely packed and rinsed thoroughly
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 TBS water
- 1/3 cup walnut halves
- 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 to 1 TBS miso paste (to taste)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
For the Pizza:
- 4 whole wheat naan breads
- 1 1/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 3 medium cluster tomatoes, thinly sliced
- pine nuts
- red pepper flakes
- fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Blend all the pesto ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor until smooth.
- Spread out the naan bread on baking sheets. Spread some pesto on top. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of mozzarella on each naan, and top with a few slices of tomatoes.
- Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the edges are golden brown.
- Top pizza with pine nuts, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil.
- Enjoy! You can refrigerate any leftovers for 4 to 5 days or freeze them for a few weeks. If you have any pesto leftover, refrigerate it in an airtight container for a few days.
1. I only use the leafy parts of the carrot tops and discard the tough stems. Make sure to rinse the carrot tops thoroughly as there’s usually a bit of dirt caught in the leaves. Don’t have any carrot tops on hand? Just use kale, cilantro, or parsley instead.
2. If you’re not sure about using miso in the pesto sauce, start with 1/2 tablespoon first, and add more if you want. I usually add between 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of it. You can also skip the miso entirely and just season with salt.
Source: Lisa Lin from Healthy Nibbles and Bits// All images and text ©
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