If you Google “carrot greens,” you will come up with a lot of conflicting information about whether or not they’re edible. I didn’t find any sufficiently authoritative source (a public-health organization like a hospital or a government agency) saying that carrot greens were toxic, but I did find a number of bloggers who posted recipes using carrot greens, and who lived to blog again.
After two weeks of cautiously using carrot greens only for making stock (can you see them in the pictures here and here?), I decided to try a straight-up, carrot-greens recipe. My husband and I both ate this for dinner on Thursday and -- I’m pleased to report -- survived.
I took the fabulous idea for grilled carrots with carrot greens pesto from Not Eating Out in New York. I agree with her wholeheartedly that this dish “just makes sense somehow.” I followed her recipe almost exactly (halving the carrots, blanching the greens, etc.), but used my own pesto recipe (excluding the kale and rosemary). Actually, my own recipe is remarkably similar to hers, with only the addition of some fresh lemon juice and the omission of salt.
I served the carrots as a side dish to plain, baked chicken, and put the pesto all over both the carrots and the chicken. It was amazing. In contrast to last week’s kale pesto, which blended into a smooth, creamy sauce, the carrot-greens pesto retained the chunkiness that is more characteristic of a typical (basil-based) pesto sauce. The carrot greens have a fresh, herby, “carrot-y” flavor that is hard to describe but easy to appreciate.
Even my husband liked the carrots and pesto, though he did complain at the outset that carrot greens are not food, and that they are meant to be thrown away. The funny thing is, I left about a quarter inch of greens attached to the carrots, and my husband left those behind on his plate. I pointed out to him that leaving the attached greens behind was silly; they were, after all, the same greens that formed the pesto. In response, he reiterated his position that one does not eat carrot greens, and then asked me if I was a rabbit. Some fights are not worth having: He was taking a big bite of pesto covered chicken as he said it.
This was a great recipe that I’ll definitely make again. That is, of course, if I live that long after having eaten carrot greens in the first place.