Carrot greens are edible and versatile — don’t toss them! After a good cleaning, they’ll blend well into just about any sauce or dip you can dream up. You can also mix the delicate leaves into salads for some subtle carrot notes.
To help you make the most of the green bundle of leafiness atop your carrots we’ve rounded up six recipes–from root-to-leaf preparations that make for beautiful platters to simple sauces that can go on just about anything. Big thanks to the food blogs that generously provided photos!
You’ll note some common themes: nearly every recipe works the greens into a sauce alongside ingredients like lemon, garlic, herbs, and oil and sometimes nuts, cheese and yogurt. We’re betting that if you improvise you won’t go wrong.
Just a few things to keep in mind when working with carrot greens:
- Use them quickly! We recommend preparing them within a day of purchase, if you can. The greens fade quickly and the carrots themselves have a shorter shelf life while their greens are attached.
- Clean them thoroughly. Bits of dirt and sand can hide in the tight and tiny spaces between the greens.
- Keep in mind that the stalks are more fibrous. The jaunty leaves atop a bunch of carrots are perfect for eating, but as you travel down the stalk, things do get tougher. This might be OK if you’re doing some intense food processing, but less ok if you’re lightly chopping. Evaluate your own preferences and tolerance for fibrousness as you go.
Sauces, dips and toppings from carrot greens
Carrot top yogurt dressing
It’s a dip! It’s a dressing! It’s a creamy way to have your carrots and eat the greens too! This recipe from Cara of Veggie Desserts is easy to customize. Cara also gives detailed instructions on which part of the greens to use and how to clean them thoroughly (essential because some dirt from the field might have hitched a ride on the greens).
Carrot top chimichurri
Herbal, zesty and as spicy as you’d like it, chimichurri provides a nice, easily customizable home for your carrot greens. Cara at Midwestern Homelife offers an easy recipe, with lots of ideas for substitutions, for this pesto-adjacent condiment. She writes: “You’re going to love putting carrot top chimichurri on everything from grilled meats, roasted vegetables, pasta, salads, bread — you can even use it as a marinade.” For another chimichurri spin, with ideas on wine pairings, head to Cooking Chat for a chimichurri steak recipe.
Carrot green pesto
Right here in EatOrToss’s flexipe trove you’ll find this recipe for carrot green pesto. Blended with nuts, cheese, olive oil and garlic, your carrot greens will go from leafy to saucy in no time. The pesto is great on pasta, but also makes a nice dip.
Root-to-leaf carrot dishes
These recipes will help you use the greens alongside the carrots! But even if you’ve already got a plan for the carrots, the carrot green preparations in these recipes will be great on their own.
Carrot fritters (bhajia)
This recipe from Indiaphile fries grated carrots in a chickpea flour batter and spins the carrot greens into a chutney for dipping. Puja Thomas-Patel said that while she had never had this type of fritter, called a bhajia, made from carrots before, she was inspired to develop the recipe when a huge bunch of carrots arrived in her CSA box. The greens blend with chili, lemon, garlic and salt for the complementary chutney.
Carrot green pistachio herb relish
Here’s another root-to-leaf carrot preparation, this time with pistachios and mint. Trish over at the Rhubarbarians says it will also go great in a casual meal, but also dress up nicely for a more formal dinner. She has lots of ideas on substitutions too, keeping the recipe nice and flexible.
Roasted carrots with carrot tops gremolata
Here’s another take on carrots dressed up in their greens from Swirls of Flavor. Recipe developer Gwynn says that while the recipe is easy, it looks fancy. The gremolata is similar to the chimichurri described above; and also highly customizable.