Rainbow Carrots with Pistachio Pesto

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grilled carrots on plate

Rainbow Carrots with Pistachio Pesto

Course: Side Dishes
Any student who has attended one of Chef Carol Cotner Thompson’s classes revels at the ease of her recipes. Carol’s a Southern California native whose simple, clean recipes and cool teaching style inspire us to get back into the kitchen. This stunning recipe gives you two cooking options and the pesto is one of our favorites. You’ll find some delicious inspiration and info on her culinary trips on Carol’s website here.
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  • 2 bunches Rainbow carrots with the stems on
  • 2 Tbsp Za’atar see note below
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Pesto (makes about 1/2 cup)

  • 3/4 cup Toasted pistachios
  • 1 cup Basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp Freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove Garlic peeled and smashed
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp Salt


  • Wash, peel and cut the carrots lengthwise, leaving a bit of the stem on. Toss into a large bowl with the za’atar*, olive oil and salt.
  • Grill (on medium-low) OR roast (on sheet pan) carrots at 325 for 30 minutes. Cool and arrange on platter. Spoon pesto on top to serve. Garnish with fresh mint, dill, basil, or thyme.
  • To make the pesto: In a blender or food processor, pulse all the ingredients together to form a chunky sauce.  The pesto can be made twenty four hours in advance.


  • You can make your own za’atar spice blend here.