Italian Carrot Top Salsa Verde

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Carrot greens take center stage in this flavorful vegan Italian salsa verde. Perfect for reducing waste and adding a zesty kick to your meals, this sauce is as sustainable as it is delicious.
Freezer Friendly
Make Ahead
Quick & Easy

Carrot greens – often overlooked, but packed with flavor. This Italian salsa verde is a game-changer, transforming humble carrot tops into a tangy, herbaceous delight. Unlike its Mexican counterpart, which boasts tomatillos and chilies, Italian salsa verde is an herb-focused sauce, enriched with capers, garlic, and lemon. Perfect for pasta, grilled veggies, or a sandwich spread, this sauce is as versatile as it is delicious.

Italian salsa verde is all about the vibrant green herbs. Typically made with parsley, this version swaps in carrot greens, offering a wonderful way to use up those leafy tops that usually get tossed. Not only does this add a unique twist, but it also reduces waste – a win for both your palate and the planet. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a kitchen novice, this recipe is easy to whip up and guaranteed to impress.

What to Do With Salsa Verde

  • Pasta Sauce: Toss freshly cooked pasta with the salsa verde for a light, herbaceous, and flavorful alternative to traditional pasta sauces.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Drizzle over grilled or roasted vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and asparagus to enhance their natural flavors with a fresh, tangy kick.
  • Sandwich Spread: Use the salsa verde as a spread on sandwiches or wraps to add a burst of vibrant, zesty flavor.
  • Dip for Bread: Serve as a dip with crusty bread or breadsticks for an easy and delicious appetizer or snack.
  • Topping for Grilled Meats: Spoon the salsa verde over grilled meats, such as chicken, steak, or fish, to add a fresh and herbaceous finish to your dishes.
  • Customizing This Dish

    • Herbs: If carrot greens aren’t available, or if you want to mix things up, you can substitute with parsley, cilantro, or even a mix of your favorite fresh herbs.
    • Anchovies: Although they are traditional in this sauce, I’ve omitted them in this recipe for our vegan friends. If you want to include them, cut the capers in half and use 2-3 anchovies fillets or 1 tsp of anchovy paste.

    How to Store Leftovers

    Storing your homemade salsa verde is a breeze. Simply transfer the sauce into a clean, airtight jar or container and keep it in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to a week.

    How to Freeze

    For longer storage, freezing is an excellent option. Pour the salsa verde into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a freezer-safe bag or container. This method allows you to defrost just the amount you need.

    To thaw, place the desired number of salsa verde cubes in a bowl in the refrigerator overnight. Alternatively, you can defrost them in a microwave-safe bowl using the defrost setting or in a saucepan over low heat. Avoid high heat to maintain the vibrant color and fresh taste.

    Italian Carrot Top Salsa Verde

    Italian Carrot Top Salsa Verde

    Prep Time:
    15 min
    Cook Time:
    0 min
    Total Time:
    15 min
    2 cups
    Equipment Needed
    • 2 cup carrot greens, chopped
    • 1/2 cup basil leaves chopped
    • 2 tbsp chopped scallions (green part only)
    • 1/4 cup capers, drained and rinsed
    • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
    • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 lemon, juiced
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    1. Add the carrot greens, basil, scallions, capers, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using) to the bowl of your food processor along with 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Blend until a thick paste forms.
    2. While the food processor is still running, add in the lemon juice, then slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil until the sauce forms a thick, emulsified consistency.
    3. Stir in the lemon juice then adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Be sure to taste the sauce before adding salt, as the capers are quite salty already.
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