Save Those Carrot Tops!
For a long time I searched for a good use for green carrot tops. I remembered making a classic macrobiotic/Japanese condiment called Scallion Miso or Negimiso that is delicious, mineral rich, and goes great with brown rice or oatmeal porridge, and can be used as a stirfry condiment, or as a filling for rice balls. So I thought, why not make it with carrot greens and call it Carrot Top Miso?
Wash Carrot Tops Well and Dry
In the spirit of not wasting anything, it feels good to be able to use the whole vegetable instead of tossing out half of it. When you get your carrot bunch, cut off the tops right away (otherwise they will continue to drain resources from the root vegetable) and wash them in a large bowl with several changes of water. They are usually very sandy.
Let the bunch of greens air dry, either with stems in water or just laying out on a towel. It’s best to start with dry greens so that you can chop them really finely. You’ll want to chop them more than I did below. I’ve made them a few times since I took these pictures, and the more finely I chop them the better the condiment turns out!
Only Three Ingredients
To make Carrot Top Miso Condiment you only need three ingredients:
- Untoasted Sesame Oil or Extra-virgin Olive Oil
- Carrot Tops/Greens
- Dark Miso Paste
Use a cast iron skillet to get even toasting of the greens. Once you’ve turned off the heat, the miso will “melt” into the greens from the residual heat in the pan.
Carrot Top Miso Condiment is High in Minerals
All you need is a teaspoon or so of this mineral-rich carrot top miso, so think of it as a condiment rather than a side dish. Here are some suggestions for using carrot top miso:
- Put a 1/2 -1 teaspoon into onigiri or (rice ball with nori covering).
- Put up to 1 teaspoon on top of savory oatmeal (cooked with onion, carrot, celery) and mix it in.
- When making a stir fry, add 1-2 teaspoons paste diluted in a little water towards the end of cooking instead of soy sauce for seasoning.
- When making a buddha bowl, top your grain (brown rice, white rice, or quinoa) with 1/2 teaspoon carrot top miso.
Use this mineral-rich condiment on brown rice or cauliflower steaks, as a filling for onigiri (rice balls), or as a stir fry seasoning. It is a delicious way to use carrot top greens instead of throwing them away!
- 1 bunch carrot tops, washed well and let air dry
- 1–2 tablespoons untoasted sesame oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1–2 tablespoons dark miso (such as Miso Master Red Miso)
- Trim off tough ends of carrot tops, then finely chop remaining leaves and stems. Gather the chopped greens back up into a pile and chop again to make them extra fine.
- Heat cast iron skillet (or other heavy bottomed skillet) over medium heat for one minute. Add sesame oil to coat bottom of the pan. Start with 1 tablespoon (you can add more later if needed).
- Add chopped carrot tops and more oil if needed to coat the greens. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until greens are tender.
- Add miso one tablespoon at a time and combine with the greens. Turn heat off and cover pan with a lid. Let sit for 10 minutes to let miso “melt” into the greens.
- Place condiment in a glass jar or small bowl. Serve immediately or store covered in the refrigerator. The condiment will last in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.
Carrot Top Miso Demo
Watch a short demonstration on how to make Carrot Top Miso at the beginning of this video I did on Facebook live this week.