Waste not ... Carrot tops
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.