Apr
29

Vegetarian Carrot Top Pesto Pizza

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!

Easy and delicious carrot top pesto pizza! Ready in less than 30 minutes!

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.

Easy and delicious carrot top pesto pizza! Ready in less than 30 minutes!

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!)

Easy and delicious carrot top pesto pizza! Ready in less than 30 minutes!

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.

Carrot Top Pesto

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.

Yields 4

Vegetarian Carrot Top Pesto Pizza

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!

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Ingredients

    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
  • Pizza
  • 4 whole wheat naan breads
  • 1 1/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3 medium cluster tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Optional Garnish
  • pine nuts
  • red pepper flakes
  • fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Blend all the pesto ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor until smooth.
  3. 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.
  4. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the edges are golden brown.
  5. Top pizza with pine nuts, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil.
  6. 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.
Recipe Type: appetizer

Notes

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.

http://www.spoonfulofflavor.com/2015/04/29/vegetarian-carrot-top-pesto-pizza/

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Lisa Lin

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60 Comments

  1. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    Ashley and Lisa, so many things I love about this post!!! First off, I LOVE that you use the carrot tops!!!! Hooray for using every inch of that carrot. . I love this! and my pizza crust personality changes .. I like thin but sometimes I want doughy and thick!! LOVE seeing Lisa here today!!! gorgeous pizza!

  2. Danae @ Recipe Runner

    Love this pizza Lisa! I have a bit of an obsession with it myself. This pesto is awesome, what a great way to use something that would normally be thrown out.

    • Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits

      Thanks, Danae! I know, I’ve thrown out soo many bunches of carrot tops that I thought I should figure out some other way to use it.

  3. Allison - Celebrating Sweets

    Beautiful pizza, Lisa and Ashley! I love the idea of using naan for the crust. Can’t wait to give this a try

  4. Kelley @ Chef Savvy

    This recipe is so creative I love it!! You took the guilt out of pizza! Awesome!

  5. Kelly

    Love this healthy veggie pizza! It looks amazing Lisa and Ashley! The carrot top pesto with miso paste is so creative!

  6. Cyndi - My Kitchen Craze

    That is one gorgeous looking pizza. It’s making me crave some for dinner now. I think I need to get in the kitchen and adding pesto…genius!! 😉

  7. Amanda

    I love that you made pesto with carrot tops! You are so creative!!!

  8. Zainab

    I have a small thing for pizza too!! Like…a huge addiction I mean! Great recipe! And good to see you here Lisa!

  9. Joanne

    Honestly, I’ve never met a pizza that I didn’t like…or a pesto that I didn’t like! This pizza is the best of all worlds.

  10. mira

    Love pizza! And this pesto sounds amazing! Pinned!

    • Lisa

      Thanks, Jess!

  11. Pingback: Vegetarian Carrot Top Pesto Pizza - Healthy Nibbles & Bits

  12. Traci | Vanilla And Bean

    Thank you for this, Lisa! I’m feel the same way about carrot tops, not really knowing what to do with them, and not spending the time to find out… no more! I make tons of pesto in the summer, then freeze it, so this is a perfect way to use and enjoy carrot tops! Thank you, too for the tip on Miso! Oh, that pizza! My goodness – always a favorite!

    • Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits

      I totally need to try freezing my pesto more often! I usually make a big batch of it, and then we’re stuck with pesto everything for a good week!

  13. Patricia @ Grab a Plate

    I’m so excited to see this recipe! What a great idea and use for these frilly greens! Awesome!

  14. Kristina & Millie

    this carrot top pizza looks delish! I didn’t realize carrot tops were edible so feel bad now for trashing those all these years! I am going to have to try them now just to give your recipe a try! Thanks for sharing with us at Snickerdoodle!

  15. Travel Animal Doctor

    Wow, I am always looking for new vegetarian options. I will definitely be saving this recipe to try. It looks delicious and I love the photograph of the finished product.

  16. Katherines Corner

    this screams “Yummy”! Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. Watch for your feature on Monday xo

  17. Karly

    This is my kind of pizza! Thanks for linking up with What’s cookin’ Wednesday!

  18. Becky

    Thanks for sharing at Motivational Monday. Hope you will link up again tonight!

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  20. Zan

    This pizza looks so yummy! I have not make this kind before!

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  23. Theresa @DearCreatives

    Thanks for sharing at the party! Pinned & shared hope to see you again soon. We love pizza. I can’t wait to try this recipe.

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  25. Vanessa

    This looks so delicious! I want a piece right now. :) Thank you for linking up at “A Little Bird Told Me” Wednesday link up party. You have been featured on Mama’s Happy Hive! :)

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