Kale, Carrot and Apple Salad with Carrot Top Pesto Dressing

Every time I see carrots without their deep green tops, I wonder where they ended up. There’s a sliver of hope that they were composted, but I fear that they were instead destined for the trash can.

There are many things that we can do to reduce our own personal food waste, and whole-vegetable-cooking is one of them (like snout-to-tail except without the pig). Think of all of the parts of various vegetables that we think of as “waste.” Carrot tops. Beet greens. Kale stalks. Broccoli stems. Not to mention the unecessary act of peeling things.

When I buy a bunch of carrots, I always use the green tops to make pesto. This recipe uses that pesto in an easy dressing that’s perfect to put on a variety of salads. Here it gets drenched over shredded kale and carrots, with apples added for a little sweetness and toasted pepitas for some additional texture.


Carrot Top Pesto Dressing

4 tablespoons carrot top pesto

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon mustard

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Dash of lemon juice

Kale, Carrot and Apple Salad

About 5 large leaves of kale (And what about those stalks? Pickle them!)

1 medium sized apple, diced

2-3 large carrots

1 small shallot, thinly sliced (or a small amount of thinly sliced onion)

A couple of handfuls of pepitas, toasted (I do this in a cast iron pan for a few minutes)


To prepare the dressing, place all ingredients in a glass or jar and mixture until well blended.

To make the salad, massage the kale and chop into small pieces. Add the diced apple. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrots into strips and add to the salad along with the shallot. Add in the toasted pepitas and mix together.

Pour the dressing over the salad and mix until the salad is evenly coated.

Leave a comment