In case you haven’t noticed, I have an obsession for green sauces – pesto, pistou, herb paste, flavour-makers, leafy dressings – call them what you will, I love them! Making pastes and sauces out of your fresh leafy herbs and greens is one of the best ways I can think of to preserve those precious summer greens to enjoy all year. Today I’m taking an economical turn and using carrot tops in this Carrot Top Pistou with a vinigrette dressing variation.
Carrots are a delicious part of the Umbelliferae or Apiaceae family. The orange, yellow, or purple taproots are topped with an often discarded and forgotten edible green, which happens to be incredibly nutritious. One cup (25g) of carrot greens contains 1g protein, 2g fibre, 110% DRI vitamin A (as beta carotene), about 10% DRI vitamin C, loads of chlorophyll, calcium, iron, 250mg potassium, and other nutrients. They act as a mild diuretic which helps to expel excess water retention from the body, and fibre works to support the large intestine. Vitamins K and C, and minerals such as calcium and magnesium work to support healthy bone structure, and antioxidants are essential for cardiovascular health.
This powerhouse leafy green comes free with your carrots all summer long, so don’t waste this awesome free food source!
Precaution: the above information is not intended to override medical advice – as with any nutrient-dense food, use carrot tops in appropriate amounts and with proper research as to whether this food source is safe for you.
Flavour + Use in Dishes
Carrot greens taste mildly grassy, astringent and a little bitter in their raw form. They become quite mild when cooked or lightly steamed. Either way, they lend themselves well to accompanying other more flavourful herbs, such as basil or mint, as shown in this recipe.
Mint makes this sauce a wonderful marinade or dressing for lamb. Basil pairs well with just about everything else – beef, poultry, pork, roast veggies and salads, and even grilled pineapple or nectarines become magical with a drizzle of this dressing.
Carrot Top Pistou
1 c. carrot greens, roughly chopped
1 c. fresh basil or mint leaves
zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, optional
3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
pinch sea salt
Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and whiz away, until all is incorprated. Store in small portions (1/2 cup jars or ice cube tray), labelling with date. Keep a portion in your fridge, and freeze any extra to enjoy at a later date.
Vinigrette Dressing Variation
1/2 c. carrot greens, roughly chopped
1/2 c. fresh basil or mint leaves
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
splash cider vinegar, to taste
pinch sea salt
Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and whiz away, until all is incorprated. Adjust liquid ratios to achieve desired dressing/vinigrette consistency. Store in the fridge for up to a week, but most delicious if used within a few days.
Carrot greens. http://www.onlyfoods.net/carrot-greens.html