Healthy Eats from Local & Organic Ingredients

Kale Pesto with Walnut and Parmesan
Use about 1/2 cup of kale pesto for 1 pound pasta, or use as a sandwich spread, or for any dish you where you would normally use a basil pesto.

Total Time:
10 min
Yield: 1 cup pesto
Level: Easy


1/3 cup walnuts
1 clove garlic
3 cups chopped kale
Parsley (optional)
Kosher salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet until lightly browned; let cool.
  • Turn on food processor and drop in garlic clove to mince finely.
  • Pulse the cooled walnuts in a food processor until finely ground.
  • Add the kale and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pulse until finely chopped.
  • Add the Parmesan and pulse to combine.
  • Slowly pour in the olive oil, pulsing to incorporate. Transfer the pesto to a bowl.

Adapted from the Food Network Kitchen

Did you know that carrot tops (the "leaves") are delicious to EAT?!
from Miyako Loesner

Hi, my name is Miyako, I am Japanese. I moved to Charlotte in September 2010. I have been volunteering at the "Matthew Farmer’s Market" since April of this year. I was very pleased to find the "Matthews Community Farmer’s Market". There are lots of fresh local vegetables, foods, flowers and etc.

When I see "Carrot tops (the leaves)", they remind me my grandmother.
"Gomaae" is a very popular Japanese home style side dish.
"Goma" means "Sesame seeds", "ae" means "toss” or “dress”.
We usually use "spinach” or "green beans" for this dish.
However my grandma used carrot tops when she found fresh carrot tops instead of spinach or green beans.
Also, turnip tops can use for "Gomaae".

Ingredients for about 2 people
  • A bunch of carrot tops, turnip tops, spinach, or a handful of green beans (almost any kind of vegetables, try your favorites!)
  • A pinch salt
Sesame dressing
  • 2 Tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • Add sesame sugar and soy sauce in your taste
  • Wash carrot tops. Stems might be too tough so use only the leafy part.
  • Boil the carrot tops in a pot of slightly salted water until tender, then rinse in cold water and let soak for few minutes.
  • To make sesame dressing, grind the sesame seeds until coarse.
  • Add the sugar and soy sauce.
  • Squeeze water from carrot tops and cut into about 1/4-inch length pieces.(For spinach, turnip tops about 1-inch, green beans about 2-inch)
  • Toss or dress (“ae”) carrot tops with sesame (“Goma”) dressing.
Other recipes for carrot and turnip tops
  • Rice ball
  • Fried rice
  • Simmered turnips with tops
  • Miso soup
  • Rolled omelets
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me when you see me at the market.“Sushi” is not the only Japanese food.