Waste not ... Car­rot tops

The Guardian - Feast - - Feast - Tom Hunt

Car­rot tops are a nu­tri­tious and ver­sa­tile in­gre­di­ent that can be used to re­place herbs in all kinds of dishes. The tops have a slightly bit­ter flavour, so com­bine them with other herbs and a squeeze of lemon or vine­gar as a coun­ter­bal­ance.

While bit­ter greens add a depth of flavour and com­plex­ity, they also aid di­ges­tion. There has been lit­tle re­search on the health ben­e­fits of car­rot tops, but they are rich in nu­tri­ents, con­tain­ing around six times more vi­ta­min C than the root, as well as lots of potas­sium, cal­cium and phy­tonu­tri­ents.

Car­rots are often grown in loose soil so they grow straight, which can make the leaves par­tic­u­larly sandy. Sep­a­rate the tops from the roots when you get home, soak them in plenty of wa­ter, re­move, drain and rinse again (this will also help pro­long the life of the roots).

Leafy greens tend to con­tain more pes­ti­cides, due to their sur­face area be­ing mainly above the ground. For this rea­son, and other en­vi­ron­men­tal and health ben­e­fits, I rec­om­mend buy­ing or­ganic.

Car­rot top chimichurri

Finely chop 20g each of car­rot tops and flat-leaf pars­ley, in­clud­ing the stalks and leaves. Mix with one crushed gar­lic clove, two tea­spoons of dried oregano, a pinch of chilli flakes, eight ta­ble­spoons of ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil and three ta­ble­spoons of red-wine vine­gar, then sea­son. The chimichurri will keep in the fridge for one to two weeks. Serve as a sauce along­side any sim­ple meal or as a dress­ing for roasted car­rots or veg­eta­bles.

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