The leaves of root vegetables often get overlooked, fated for the compost bin, a stock or (gasp!) the trash. Don't waste this nutritious and delicious part of the plant, for not only are they edible, but they can be featured as a main ingredient in your next winter dish! Wilt, braise, pulse and stir-fry your tops to a more sustainable way of cooking!
Beet green recipe ideas, adapted from Mother Nature Network, for any level home cook.
Chef April Bloomfield practices a nose-to-tail philosophy in the kitchen, as well as what she calls, "top-to-tail" cooking with vegetables. Here is her recipe for using carrot tops from Saveur.
ROASTED CARROTS WITH CARROT-TOP PESTO AND BURRATA
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1⁄2 lb. small carrots with green tops (2 carrots peeled, remaining carrots scrubbed and trimmed, leaving 1" green tops, leaves and tender stems reserved)
2 1⁄2 tsp. flake sea salt, such as Maldon
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic (3 unpeeled and lightly crushed, 1 peeled)
1⁄2 cup packed basil leaves
1⁄2 cup walnuts
1⁄4 cup grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
8 oz. burrata or fresh mozzarella, drained
2 1⁄2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1) Heat oven to 500°. Heat 1⁄4 cup oil in a 12″ ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Add trimmed carrots and 1 tsp. salt; cook, turning carrots as needed, until browned, 6–8 minutes. Add butter and crushed garlic; roast until carrots are tender, 10–12 minutes.
2) Pulse three-quarters of carrot leaves and stems, 1 tsp. salt, the peeled garlic, 1⁄4 cup basil, the walnuts, and parmesan in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add 3⁄4 cup oil; purée into a smooth pesto.
3) Arrange roasted carrots on a serving platter with burrata. Using a vegetable peeler, peel remaining 2 carrots into thin ribbons and place in a bowl. Add remaining oil, carrot leaves and tender stems, salt, and basil, plus lemon juice; toss to combine. Sprinkle over carrots and burrata. Spoon about 1⁄3 cup pesto over carrots and sprinkle with more parmesan; serve remaining pesto on the side.