Saturday, July 18, 2009

Carrot "cous cous"

Determined to do my consumer-ly duty and eat every possible part of every single vegetable that comes in our CSA, I set about figuring how to eat those cascading greens atop my carrots.

There seems to be some ambivalence about whether or not carrot tops are dangerous. Apparently, Oregon Health and Science University considers them mildly toxic. Others feel that the greens are highly nutritious and should be enjoyed. It seems as though some people have allergens that could react with the greens? (Warning! Completely uninformed Google opinion!) I guess I wouldn't eat greens from random, supermarket (even Whole Foods) carrots -- only ones from a stand where I can look the farmer in the eye.

So, turns out, the greens taste just like carrots. Maybe not unexpected, but a little surprising just the same. I found a website where someone said they use the tops just like parsley: for flavor, like an herb. They make a lovely, earthy addition to many savory dishes, but are featured in this cold "cous cous" salad. So if you're feeling brave, read on.

Carrot "Cous Cous" Salad
(serves 2-4; comes together in about 6 minutes)

1 bunch carrots, with greens
1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
2 Tbsp raisins or dried currants
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

  1. Wash carrots really well. Chances are, if you bought them from a farmer's market, they're still rocking some dirt. Scrub well. If you're not working with organic carrots, peel them. Cut into big chunks and throw in the food processor. Buzz until carrots reach the size and shape of cous cous.
  2. Likewise, wash tops really well by holding them under running water or submerging in a large bowl full of water and shaking gently. Chop finely like you would any herb.
  3. In a large bowl, combine "cous cous" carrots, tops, and remaining ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. Eat immediately or let sit at room temp for half an hour. Flavors will intensify.

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