Gardening Tip ~ Root to Stem Eating: A Usage for Carrot Tops!

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Contributed by Lyne Webb, a member of the Richmond Hill Garden & Horticultural Society.

I just harvested some carrots and wondered about uses for the tops. It involves a new way of eating, known as Root-to-stem eating. It is the logical extension of the nose-to-tail movement, where vegetable trimmings that would normally end up as garbage or compost, end up on your dinner plate. The movement rethinks how we cook and prepare vegetables.  I looked for a use for carrot tops other than the logical soup pot and came up with Chimichurri Sauce.  Chimichurri is an uncooked sauce used both as an ingredient in cooking and as a table condiment for grilled meat. It is found in Argentinian and Uruguayan cuisines.  I had never tried it before but found a recipe that substituted carrot fronds for the usual cilantro and parsley ingredients in the original sauce.  I found it to be delicious on BBQ steak.  

Chimichurri Sauce Recipe:

• 1 cup carrot top leaves
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
• 1 clove garlic
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1/4 tsp black pepper
• 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Although not called for, I added cumin to taste. Can be refrigerated or used directly after making it.

Editor’s note: For those of you who have not heard of the Nose to Tail movement, it is a trend in restaurants to use all parts of the animal in their menu. The idea was to be more mindful of what we consume to embrace a more sustainable way of living.  It reminds me of my grandparents’ way of cooking. For example, they used every part of the pig including the snout, ears, brain, tongue, organs, blood pudding (a sausage), and even the tail. Of course, they also cooked the more traditional parts of the pig such as pork chops, ground meat, roasts, and sausages.  This total usage was for their personal sustainability due to the depression and lack of jobs and thus funds and thus limited food to provide for their family. 

Related articles you may enjoy:
Eating Well. Vegetables You Can Eat from Root to Stem by Breana Lai Killeen, M.P.H., RD
Food in Canada. Going whole hog b
y Carol Neshevich