Friday, May 21, 2010

Baby Carrots! (and how to eat their greens)


We have a fellow gardener in the Remington Community Garden named Muhammed. He is from Pakistan, farms fun and exciting crops like taro root and peanuts, grows cilantro EVERYWHERE in Remington, and is often my go-to guy when I need advice.

One of Muhammad's constant admonitions is, "Too close! Too close!" Eager to cram as many plants as possible in our garden plots and make everything look as lush as possible, many of us let our crops grow mere inches away from each other.

I finally learned my lesson after checking on my Chinese Red Meat Radishes only to find that the leaves were gigantic, but there was almost no radish at the bottom.

I asked Muhammad what happened, and you can guess his advice.

So I thinned out the radish greens and made them into a stir-fry with tofu. There are still more, so perhaps kimchi is next. I'm learning that eating the thinnings from the garden is almost as much fun as eating the vegetables themselves.

Yesterday I decided the carrots needed a lot of thinning too. And was pleasantly excited to realize that meant I got to eat baby carrots!

Delicate, sweet, and crunchy. Too bad these are only available for a few brief weeks out of the year, unlike those fat, wet little carrots available in giant sacks year round.

But what to do with the many carrot greens with almost no carrot at the bottom?

I tasted a little of the greens and they tasted just like parsley. I think they might be in the same family? So, I decided to treat the greens like parsley and mixed them in with a chickpea salad.

Carrot Top & Chickpea Salad

Two cans chickpeas (or be thrifty and soak your own!)
Medium white or red onion
Chopped carrot tops (use as many as you like)

Olive oil (1/4 c)
Rice Vinegar (2 or 3 tblsp)
salt, pepper, Old Bay (or any spices you prefer)


Chop greens and onion. Mix ingredients together. A delicious, cheap, filling, and extremely healthy meal in just a few minutes.

If you don't grow your own carrots, perhaps your local farmer's market will have some with the greens. It's like getting two vegetables for the price of one.

I still have a lot more carrot greens. Maybe pesto?

Ooh, after a quick Google search I found a discussion about eating carrot greens on CHOWHOUND!

Please be aware that there have been some studies showing carrot greens to have some mild toxicity.

This New York Times article about eating tomato leaves sheds a lot of interesting light on eating the leaves of vegetable plants and plant toxicity.

Enjoy!

1 comment:

bittersweetblog said...

SUCH adorable little carrots! I wish I had the space to grow root veggies... But oh, I can dream.

Brilliant way to utilize the whole thing, I hate letting the greens go to waste.

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