Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Eating Carrot Greens

I don't like to throw things out. Leftover cakes are given away or stashed in the freezer. Aging vegetables are turned into soup. I will eat something, even if I don't feel like it, to stop it going into the bin.

When I saw carrots for sale at the supermarket, complete with greens attached, I naturally had to find out if the tops could be used for something. I came across a recipe for sauteed carrot greens, which sounded more than just edible. I mean, the writer even took discarded carrot greens from other customers at the market while concealing her excitement.

Bunch of carrots from the supermarket.
It turns out that the warning "the stems are pretty tough and toothsome even when cooked" was not an understatement. These greens were really fibrous and difficult to chew.

Swinging the balance towards vegetables.
Also, what the post neglected to mention was that these leaves had a pungent flavour and odour, very similar to the Asian vegetable known as tong ho (茼蒿) or garland chrysanthemum.

Deceptively innocent-looking carrot greens.
I enjoyed the bitter flavour—that's what I look for in leafy greens—but next time, I would save carrot tops for the stock pot, rather than risk pulling a muscle in my jaw.

This post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event aimed at inspiring us to try new things. This month, it is hosted by Louise from Crumbs and Corkscrews.


  1. I love tong ho! Especially when added to a steam boat. Its very soft and tender and imparts a lovely flavour to the broth.

    We have been trying to grow carrots but the roots are negligible and the tops are huge. Luckily Tofu the bunny likes the tops as well as the roots. I think that the carrot tops when very young (seedlings) would be nice raw in salad. I haven't tried eating them but they smell good when I pick them for the bunny. I must give them a nibble next time.

    1. I imagine young carrot seedlings would be more tender. But still, just eating tong ho might be a safer option. :)

  2. How interesting. I cooked baby carrots for Christmas last year and wondered what to do with the tops -in the end I just put them on the plate to make it look prettier..

  3. That cat in the background appears to have eaten too many carrots!


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