Don’t toss those greens! Use the whole vegetable
I used to come home from the market, cut the tops off the vegetables and toss the greens in the trash. Not only was I being wasteful, but I was missing out on some tasty dishes.
My friend Sandy first opened my eyes to using the greens when she introduced me to eating sauteed beet greens as a side dish. Now when I get my produce delivery, I lop off the beet greens to cook first. One of my favorite ways to prepare beets is as beet pancake (similar to a potato pancake) served on top of the beet greens. You can also use any left over beet patties for a tasty veggie burger. Beet pancakes with sauteed beet greens
Radish greens were another surprise for me. A few years ago, I found a lovely spring salad recipe in Southern Living and did a double take when I read the suggestion to use the radish greens in the salad. Radish greens? Even though I love radishes, I had never bothered to taste the greens. In this salad with spring carrots, the radish greens add a subtle note of bitter to balance the sweetness of the carrots and the tangy goat cheese. Raw Spring Vegetable Salad with Goat Cheese
Last fall, Chef Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due, a butcher shop and supper club in Austin, pushed my ideas about greens even further when he served me a tangy, vibrant green carrot top relish, almost like a chimichurri, at an event. I thought carrot greens were inedible and I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’ve found a couple of websites that have some great ideas on how to use those carrot greens and am personally looking forward to making the carrot green pesto from the World Carrot Museum site. World Carrot Museum, Gilt Taste
The next time you buy produce, don’t toss the tops. You’ll be glad you experimented with the whole vegetable.