I was talking with a friend last week about all the vegetable "tops" you can eat. While she knew about beetroot leaves, she didn't realise you could also eat the greens from swede, carrot, radish, turnips and others.
I'm relatively new to this discovery myself, but love that when you buy any of these vegetables, as long as the leaves are attached, you get _two vegetables for the price of one._
My vegetable box last week contained a plethora of greens. There was lettuce, rocket, coriander and English spinach, plus a bunch each of carrots, radishes and beetroot, all with their leaves attached.
Using vegetable greens
- When I get a batch of different greens, I tend to mix them up, using a handful from several bunches in each meal. This gives a complexity of taste and slight variety in texture which I really like. It also softens the stronger and more bitter tasting greens, so those flavours don't dominate.
- Sometimes, as the vegetables have not been grown specifically for the greens, they can be a bit worse for wear. pick out and discard any yellowing or slimy leaves.
- Before using, give the greens a really good wash, in two changes of water.
My favourite ways to use vegetable green
- Quickly steam a large handful of greens and fold these into the middle of an omelette. A few cherry tomatoes and some tangy feta also works well with this.
- One of my favourite ways to use vegetable tops is in this Greens with Tahini recipe. I make this all the time and find it immensely satisfying. Last week I had greens with tahini for lunch one day, served on a slice of wholegrain toast.
- I also often cook an adapted version of this Ottolenghi recipe, adding in some sauteed potatoes as well.
- My back-up recipe for mixed greens is an idea from one of Jamie Oliver's early books. It's flexible, delicious and can be used as a side dish, on toast, or as a meal, topped with some grilled haloumi, cooked chicken or a poached egg.