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Carrot Greens, Hmmm?

I just bought a huge bunch of carrots with an equally huge amount of greens attached to them. This will be my first time cooking carrot greens. Besides treating them like any other green, does anybody have any good recipes and/or tips? The internet seems to be surprisingly low on info. TIA

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  1. I've never heard of eating carrot greens. Have you eaten them before? I would use them as mulch or compost for my garden. They may help to retain moisture for my tomato and chile plants.

    I admit my ignorance about eating carrot leaves. I know that I would not eat tomato leaves because they are poisonous altho the fruit is not.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ChiliDude

      Interestingly enough, Harold McGee had an article in the NYTimes this week advocating cooking with tomato leaves. He asserts there's little evidence that they're poisonous. Not sure I'm ready to try, though.


      1. re: emmee

        tomato leaves don't sound remotely appealing!

        1. re: emmee

          I love this article, Emmee! Thanks for sharing!

      2. Well, think of it more like an inferior form of parsley than a "green"...

        1. I used to have rabbits, and even *they* wouldn't eat carrot greens. They had pretty good taste. Basil used to drive them wild.
          Note: They died natural deaths a few years ago, and rabbit is still a long way from being my favorite dish. (Tried recently)

          1. Carrot greens are delicious. You can treat them like parseley, or make them a focal point. I've found that they make a better nuance to dishes (think vegetarian couscous) than a vegetable side. Enjoy and explore; I never throw these away.

            1. In one of my vegetarian cookbooks (American Vegetarian Cookbook from the Fit for Life Kitchen by Marilyn Diamond), there is a recipe for tea made from carrot greens. Chop, boil for a couple minutes in water to cover, strain and pour into a glass with ice or drink hot. Haven't tried it though.

              2 Replies
              1. re: wendy8869

                Hmmm, bad rabbit fodder or parsley-like nuance?

              2. Carrot greens, aka "carrot tops" are used a lot in soups.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Cheese Boy

                  Adding them to a soup was going to be my suggestion as well. They aren't very good on their own, but are a great addition to other things. Think of them less as a vegetable, and more as herbs.

                2. from the seed buyer for a national company (I rep for them, so I won't mention the name)

                  "The tops are edible and very nutritious, but, I'm not sure how tasty they are. I've read that you can put them through a juicing machine to add more chlorophyll to homemade juices."

                  My thought is that they are very strong chlorphyll flavor. Have you tried them yet?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: toodie jane

                    No, lol. Thanks for all the info. Idecided to bow out.

                  2. If you're thinking of using them raw as seasoning in a salad of some sort, I might try a "test rub" of a few leafs against your skin first-- I myself sometimes get a very slight rash from brushing up against the tops when pulling carrots (the roots don't bother me at all, either to touch or to eat). I imagine that cooking them would probably change the situation, though.

                    1. look at http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/recipes... for some information about wasting not the green carrot tops and using them in salads

                      1. I'm eating a blueberry tomato salad with fresh, rinsed carrot leaves and basil, with 2-3 ounces of chopped mozzarella fresca. It's really, really good! Fresh, fresh, fresh!

                        1. I'll confess the first time I received my CSA box, years ago, there were carrots w/ greens. I just assumed the greens were parsley (w/out taking everything out of the bag), chopped them finely and used them in lasagne. It didn't add any flavor but did add nice green color.

                          1. please do not throw these out! they are delicious. they can definitely be juiced, and used in soups for sure. i often saute wild mushrooms in white wine, then add finely chopped carrot greens while sauteeing.
                            wash them thoroughly!

                            1. I don't like them in salads as they have kind of a "stick in the throat" texture. I do chop em and use them in soups. There's phyto-estrogens in them thar tops.

                              1 Reply
                              1. I was wondering this recently too and found a website with a lot of options and recipes. http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/carroto...

                                But they are edible, use like parsley or be creative.

                                1. Carrot greens are absolutely edible. At the farmers markets, they will give them to you no charge. Fresh and not sprayed.
                                  Just soak them for 5-10 minutes first in raw apple cider vinegar ( not the junk acv sold in the conventional markets) and a little baking soda first before eating, so this will remove dirt, since they do come from the ground.
                                  They are not bitter at all. They are crunchy and are equally nutritious to carrots. Best to juice or eat raw.
                                  I use them with a tofu omelet breakfast. Add the carrot greens last, and slightly warm for one minute with the tofu. I add other vegetables as well. Any and all greens work.

                                  Vegetables should never be cooked on any high heat, as they become dead food and devoid of the health benefits. Its crazy that people continue to cook vegetables or purchase in cans or frozen, but the government provides mis-information, and most conventional doctors have no real health knowledge, especially when it comes to good nutrition. Hence, a nation of diseased people.

                                  In my opinion, this is a waste of time and money and will not benefit the health of the body.
                                  Eat them raw. Once you get used to the delicious taste and smells of uncooked vegetables, cooked vegetables and their smell will repulse you.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Jimmy J

                                    """dead food and devoid of the health benefits"""

                                    i just don't buy this, j-j!

                                    1. re: alkapal

                                      Far be it from me to debate with someone over their beliefs and everyone is entitled to their opinions but I'm with you Alkapal on this...that's like saying all meat, seafood, veggies, fruits and things like bread which is alive with yeast first then "killed" when cooked is of no nutritional value, which is untrue.

                                  2. I've used them before to make an oil in which I would roast carrots in.

                                    1. I was wondering the same thing 1st time i saw them, So i threw them into a sautee pan and then added some butter a splash of white wine, bam got a carrot sauce for my roasted carrots was great

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. I like them minced into most any dish involving roasted or sauteed carrots, or in a veggie gratin I do that usually features a fair amount of carrots. There seems to be some debate about their degree of toxicity, so even though I'm sure it's safe I don't go around downing them by the pint.


                                        1. Put the greens in the trash or - better yet - on your compost pile.

                                          If I were you, I'd do a LOT more research before eating anything unfamiliar. There was an article in the New York Times a while ago about the toxiicity of carrot greens. In fact, there's quite a bit of information about the toxicity of carrot greens. Don't know where you've been looking that's been so "surprisingly low on info".

                                          1. I got some carrots with greens tonight - on a whim, used the greens (in place of parsley/thyme) to stuff a roast chicken, along with garlic, a quartered orange, and rosemary. it was delicious.

                                            1. I would keep them and throw them in a stock. I do this with most of the "tops" of vegetables that I acquire.

                                              1. this topic made me curious... so i google-sleuthed.

                                                """"The leaves do contain furocoumarins that may cause allergic contact dermatitis from the leaves, especially when wet. Later exposure to the sun may cause mild photodermatitis. (This is NOT the same as 'poisonous' - it will only affect susceptible people with allergies to the plant. Some people have the same reaction to yarrow, ragwort, chamomile etc.)

                                                There is a distinct difference between toxins and allergens. Carrots (Daucus carota), whether wild or domesticated, are not toxic, they are allergenic. This is like peanuts, which are not toxic but can kill those who are allergic to them.
                                                It is however important that any wild plant be positively identified before it is used for food.""""


                                                NOW, i have to look up "furocoumarins" which makes me thimk of coumadin....which makes me wary....so....here i go to google again!

                                                aha! I'M RIGHT, THERE IS A REASON FOR CAUTION: """" Many furanocoumarins are toxic and are produced by plants as a defense mechanism against various types of predators ranging from insects to mammals.[2] This class of phytochemical is responsible for the phytophotodermatitis seen in exposure to the juices of the wild parsnip and the Giant Hogweed."

                                                <AND HERE's THE IMPORTANT PART, especially>
                                                "Furanocoumarins have other biological effects as well. For example, in humans, bergamottin and dihydroxybergamottin are responsible for the "grapefruit juice effect", in which these furanocoumarins affect the metabolism of certain drugs.[3]"""""" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furanoco... <maybe this is not involving carrots, but another furocoumarin source>.

                                                now i am not a doctor or chemist, but if i had any of these issues, i'd do a heckuva lot more research before eating carrot greens -- and i'd talk to my trusted physician.

                                                1. I had a Japanese roommate who picked these up free at the farmers' market. She just steamed them and ate them with soy or tamari, I think. I found them a bit bitter and tough. I'm growing my own carrots now, little roots, BIG tops! I tasted the tops in the garden and they were fresh and tender, not bitter. Now i add a few tops to my green smoothie in the morning. Don't really notice any difference in the taste of my smoothie, but I'm assuming all that chlorophyll is good for me. I have a Vita-mix so they are thoroughly whizzed up along with everything else.

                                                  1. Hello : Yes eat the carrot greens, beet greens, and radish greens and remember dandelions are like free spinach/lettuce:) . Even corn on the cob skins can be used as an enchilada wrap and slow cooked till tender. I heard that it was good to eat ALL the greens you find with your store produce. Right now I am eating a lobster salad wrap. Inside I have finely chopped carrots onion celery and all the carrot greens that would fit in the small mixing bowl.
                                                    Carrot greens taste a bit like anise as the plants are related. I forgot to add fresh basil. . I eat this all the time. Any types of greens you find too tart can be soaked in cold water over night. That takes the sour or tartness out until you get used to a less domesticated diet. Have fun

                                                    1. just saw this neat herb preservation method in which the traditional acadian herbes salees condiment includes carrot greens: http://wellpreserved.ca/2011/08/16/he...