Carrot-top pesto still seems weird.
If you listen to NPR, you may have heard the recent interview with Diane Morgan. The recipe for carrot-top pesto comes from her beautiful cookbook, “Roots: The Definitive Compendium.” If you missed the interview, it’s on npr.org, along with the pesto recipe:
According to the World Carrot Museum, carrot tops are allergenic, not poisonous. Also they contain alkaloids, which can be toxic in high levels, which is also not the same as poisonous. (Apparently you’re supposed to “rotate your greens,” so you don’t get a build-up of a particular plant’s alkaloids. So much for the all-kale diet.) So as long as you’re not allergic to them, and don’t eat too many, carrot greens are edible and — bonus — rich in vitamins and minerals.
But they still don’t taste especially good. I know. I checked. They’re not nearly as bitter as I expected, and I can see how they have a certain perverse appeal, but I wouldn’t eat them plain. Still, I don’t see eating them for any reason besides shock value.
Perhaps this is why carrot-top pesto was chosen as the gateway recipe. Really, just about anything tastes good when pureed with garlic, toasted pine nuts, olive oil, and good cheese. Still, I think I’ll stick to throwing my carrot greens in the compost, and making my pesto with basil.
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