More ways to eat those nutritious, free carrot tops
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Carrot tops are not just for the compost heap or feeding to rabbits. Nor are they just for using instead of basil to create an earthier, fuller-flavoured home-made pesto sauce, writes Sheena Grant.
Thanks to John Stolarczyk, who contacted me after reading a thrifty column at the end of September about my carrot top pesto, made with the feathery green shoots of pot-grown windowsill veg to combat food waste and get a nutritious meal for next to nothing, I now know there are whole lot of other ways to eat them too.
John is the curator of the World Carrot Museum, the first virtual museum devoted to the “history, evolution, science, sociology and art of the carrots”.
His love of all things carrot-related was even featured on the Richard and Judy Show a few years back. If there’s anything worth knowing about carrots he will surely know it.
John directed me to the museum’s web pages about carrot tops. They are, I learned, highly nutritious, containing six times the vitamin C of the root as well as being rich in vitamin K, potassium, magnesium and calcium, vital for everything from strong bones to healthy blood pressure. The ‘tops’ also have antiseptic qualities and can be juiced and used as a mouthwash.
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Now, I really liked the carrot top pesto I made (with the help of a recipe by chef Anna Jones) but there are other ways to eat them too, according to North Yorkshire-based John’s museum pages.
These include adding to coleslaw or a mixed green salad, using as a garnish and cooking in butter with garlic or smoked bacon. The pages also have recipes for a slightly different carrot top pesto as well as carrot top scrambled eggs.
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But cooking with carrot tops isn’t anything new. During the Second World War, when thriftiness was a necessity rather than a choice, a recipe for carrot top and potato soup was broadcast on the Kitchen Front, a BBC radio programme sharing cooking and housekeeping tips about how to make rations go further and information from the Ministry of Food.
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