Oven-Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top-Walnut Pesto

This recipe is sure to change the way you see carrots! With these Oven-Roasted Carrots, Vegan chef, food writer, and editor Bryant Terry’s transforming them to caramelized perfection, but that’s just the beginning. The Carrot Top-Walnut Pesto utilizes the often-discarded carrot tops, transforming them into a nutty, flavorful pesto bursting with fresh garden notes. Then, a sprinkle of umami powder adds a layer of savory depth to this otherwise simple dish. So ditch the predictability of regular roasted carrots and embrace the unexpected with this special flavor profile.

What is Umami Powder?

Umami powder is the secret weapon for unlocking the savory sensation that completes the taste profiles of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Made from ingredients like fermented vegetables or mushrooms, this powder concentrates the naturally occurring glutamates that triggers the umami receptors on your tongue. Think of it as a dust that can intensify the savory flavors in your food. A sprinkle of umami powder will add depth and complexity to soups, stews, sauces, marinades, or even popcorn, Plus, it’s vegan and gluten-free!

Oven-Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top-Walnut Pesto Recipe

Makes 6-8 servings

Oven-Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top-Walnut Pesto Ingredients

  • 8 large carrots with tops (between 3-4 ½ oz each)
  • ¼ cup fresh clementine juice
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt + more as needed
  • 3 tbsp umami powder (see above)
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts, skin removed
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 heaping tbsp white miso paste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice + more as needed
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 heaping tsp lemon zest for garnish
  • 1 heaping tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley for garnish
  • Za’atar for garnish

For the Umami Powder:

  • ¾ oz dried porcini mushrooms
  • ¾ cup raw cashews
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt

Roasted Carrots with Walnut Pesto Preparation Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Separate the carrots and their green tops and chop the tops. Measure out 2 cups of the tops and set aside (reserve the rest for another use or discard them). Spread the carrots in a single layer in a large baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the clementine juice, 2 tablespoons of the oil, the ginger, and salt and mix well with a fork to combine. Pour the mixture over the carrots and slather them well with clean hands.
  4. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and roast until the carrots are just starting to become tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the foil, gently turn the carrots with a fork to further coat them in the oil mixture, and return to the oven, uncovered, until fork-tender and browning, about 15 more minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
  5. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the carrot tops, umami powder, walnuts, garlic, miso, and lemon juice. Blend to combine. With the machine running, slowly pour in the remaining ½ cup olive oil through the feed tube and process until combined.
  6. Transfer the pesto to a small bowl and add enough water to loosen it up a bit (it should be thick but not pasty). Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Transfer to a small bowl for serving.
  7. Transfer the carrots to a platter and sprinkle with the lemon zest, parsley, and za’atar. Serve with the bowl of pesto alongside.

For the Umami Powder:

  1. Grind the dried porcinis in a spice grinder and transfer to a food processor.
  2. Add the cashews, nutritional yeast, pine nuts, and salt and pulse until broken down into a fine meal.
  3. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Note: The recipe for the umami powder will make more than you need but it’s excellent with lots of other different vegetable dishes.

Reprinted with permission from Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes by the Bryant Terry, copyright © 2020. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Recipe by Bryant Terry / Styling by Julia Platt Leonard / Food Prepared by Juicy Foods 505 / Photography by Tira Howard

A footer photo with a black background and subscribe info and button

Subscribe to TABLE Magazine’s print edition.


We respect your privacy.


Related Articles

Roasted Sweet Plantains, Pecan, & Millet Salad

Have you ever tried millet?

Spellbound Cocktail Inspired by The Elixir of Love

Prepare for The Elixir of Love opera with a magical cocktail.

I Feel a Sin Coming On Cocktail Inspired by Don Giovanni

You might want to save this cocktail for after the dramatic opera...