Photo by Ray Lopez for The Washington Post.
Your recipe calls for beets, carrots, or radishes. You get a lot of nice vegetables from the store or market.
“There aren’t many recipes for these types of veggie tops,” says Linda Ly, cookbook author who runs the website Garden Betty. “People just don’t know what to do with them.”
Think of extra greens as a bonus, not a burden. “When you think about cooking every part, you have more food on hand than you think,” says Anne-Marie Bonneau, author of The Zero-Waste Chef book and website.
Here are tips for selecting, storing, and using them, along with details on the most common types you’ll encounter.
what to look for
First, make sure the greens look nice. They should be “perky,” as Abra Berens says in “Ruffage.” Avoid anything wilting, sticky, or yellowing.
If you find beets with tops, they were probably dug up within a week, Berens says. Beets, carrots, and radishes sold without vegetables aren’t necessarily a problem because they can be stored for weeks.
“Due to how they are grown and how they are watered, radishes with clean tops are hard to find, but if you find one with full leaves and no blemishes, go get it,” said Sun Girl and Doug. says Aaron Choi, farmer and co-owner of the farm. Marcos, Calif., told his colleague Daniela Gallarza.
If you grow your own, former post columnist Barbara Damrosch writes about radishes:
Storage and preparation
“When I get home from the farmers market, the vegetables are the first thing I do,” says Bonneau.
Leaving them on can rob vegetables of moisture and nutrients, and vegetables have a shorter shelf life than actual vegetables.
Bonneau stores vegetables in a slightly damp cloth bag in the vegetable compartment, but you can use a plastic or resealable bag or pack them in a rigid container between layers of paper or dishcloth. I can do it. This is the method my colleague Aaron Hutcherson suggested in his guide. for salad greens. Carrot tops resemble herbs, so follow Aaron’s advice there.
To clean the greens, gently shake them in cold water to remove any dirt or silt, lift and drain well, and dry with a clean towel or salad spinner.
Many greens do well in a quick sauté, says Ly. Start by cooking the onions or garlic in oil. Then add greens and simmer until tender. Season with salt and pepper and finish with a touch of sourness such as lemon juice or vinegar. If you have beet stalks, add them before the vegetables to soften them.
Lee makes pesto from all kinds of vegetables, but she also recommends simply pureeing them to add to marinades and dips.
Green smoothies are another way to turn leftovers into a quick and nutritious meal.
By trying to use vegetables and vegetables in the same recipe for any of these vegetables, you can reduce waste and extra work to maximize cost effectiveness.
– carrot top“With an intense carrot flavor and aroma, carrot greens have the pleasant earthy bitterness typical of leafy greens, but with an herbal, feathery texture,” says Nourish. Columnist Ellie Krieger says. Great as a garnish with parsley or in salads and salsas.
“I like to make tart chimichurri with a carrot top, roast the bottom, and serve the former spooned over the latter,” says food editor Joe Yonnan.
– Beet green. Beetroot leaves are comparable to kale and chard, with a slightly bitter, earthy flavor, says Bonneau.
Beetroot leaves are softer, so Ly slices them thinly and adds them raw to salads.
Consider pickling the beetroot ribs (stalks) if you don’t sauté them in the finished dish.
– Radish leaves. I love Damrosch’s explanation.
“Like many edible plants, radishes don’t want to be eaten. They want to be left alone so they can continue to produce seeds to reproduce themselves. But , I came to appreciate how the radish leaves are quickly tamed by the heat.
Rai says the radish leaves are milder than the radish itself, with a slightly peppery edge that mellows during cooking. .