I lied. Here’s one more food/garden post before I write a real update….
Our garden has reached that stage where it’s time to thin out some of the plants (namely, the carrots and beets, whose seedling are so bursting with life that they are crowding each other out). This part of gardening has always felt a bit odd, meticulously caring for the tender seedlings and then just as meticulously uprooting the majority of them. I understand the its necessity to give the plants room to grow and mature (I’m sure there’s a metaphor for life in there if I were to dig deep enough….) but it always makes me a little sad.
So this morning I knelt in our garden and plucked through the rows. I ended up with muddy knees, dirt under my fingernails, and a big bowl full of beet greens plus an even bigger bowl of carrot greens.
Which got me wondering….can you eat beet greens? How about carrot greens? I hate to waste things (I compulsively recycle anything possible) and especially after watching these plants grow so beautifully, I didn’t want to throw them all in the compost pile.
A little research revealed that you can in fact eat both. You can eat beet greens (which are full of all sorts of vitamins and minerals) in salads and pretty much any other way that you would eat spinach. And you can use carrot greens (also full of vitamins) pretty much the same way you can use parsley. I found recipes for carrot green scramble (with eggs), carrot green salad with vinaigrette, carrot green pesto with hazelnuts, carrot green tabouleh, carrot green juice, and carrot green tea, among other things.
So for dinner tonight I tried a carrot top and quinoa soup, with sautéed beet greens on the side. Derek looked a little skeptical when I told him I was cooking carrot greens for dinner, but went back for seconds and loved the beet greens (so tasty!) so I think it was a success! I still have a bowl full of carrot tops left so I hope to try some more of the recipes over the next couple days…
Here is the recipe I used (delicious and very easy):
Carrot Top & Quinoa Soup
1 tablespoon light olive oil or canola oil
1/2 sweet onion, diced
4 cups water
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1 cup carrot tops, washed and finely chopped
2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules (I used chicken bouillon and I’m sure you could use vegetable bouillon as well)
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
fresh ground black pepper
In a 3-quart pot, sauté the onion in oil until translucent, then add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.