Don’t Throw Out Your Carrot Tops

A photo of fresh carrot tops sitting on a red cutting board

For years, I threw out perfectly good carrot tops as I just didn’t know that you could not only eat them (no, they’re not poisonous), but they were delicious.

One issue when it comes to the carrot tops is finding some good ones. Sometimes, they aren’t that great looking in the stores or the stores will chop the tops off. If you see them, just look for nice, green, healthy looking tops. If you’re lucky enough to have a farmer’s market in your area, that’s usually where the best tops can be found.

What do they taste like?

The tops do have a subtle carrot flavor to them, but also taste a tiny bit like parsley. Like most anything that sits atop a root vegetable, it’s more of an earthy taste.

Some More Tips for Your Tops
  • If you’re not going to use them right away, cut them off of your carrots and store like you would any other fresh greens.
  • Thick stems won’t work that well in most recipes.
  • Be sure to wash the tops thoroughly. For most recipes, you’ll also want to dry them thoroughly.

So, what can you do with the carrot tops?

The easiest thing to do is just watch them, chop them (discard any thick stems), and toss them into a salad.

You can also dehydrate the leaves and use them like you would parsley.

You can throw them into stir-fry (discard the thick stems here too).

You can boil them (here’s a no fuss recipe for that) and you can also use the water from the boil as stock. I’ve used it to add a little water for steaming other veggies in a frying pan with a lid or as stock in soups.

Or, one of my new favorite uses is make a pesto with them.

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