I’m greens obsessed. I’ve come to live for farmer’s market or CSA delivery days when I know I’ll discover an enticing mound of weedy little shoots or a cache of seasonal yumminess with their green tops still intact. It makes me simply giddy!
If time allows, which it normally does, I love experimenting and discovering new applications for seasonal greens but when time is of the essence and I’m afraid I wont make it to my precious, delicate greens in time my tried and true strategy is to either make pesto or chimichurri with them that I can either use soon thereafter or freeze in an ice cube tray to use later (or to eat it with a spoon, which I totally suggest if you ever whip up pesto with kale, spinach, sweet chard, and pecans- trust me on this).
The one dissenter from my “save the greens” mentality has always been carrot tops. I feel like whole carrots get wilty the very second they enter my home with their tops on, so I’ve always just chopped and discarded them immediately instead of allowing them to join the pile of beet greens and turnip greens neatly cropped and awaiting their creative use. Several months ago, I ran across an interesting recipe for roasted carrot tacos dressed with carrot green chimichurri that piqued my interest in the possibility that carrot tops can be more than just compost fodder, so when my Greenling box arrived with green bell peppers, hot peppers, a sweet onion, and carrots with their tops intact this week I knew exactly how I wanted to adapt that recipe to encompass the goodness in my box- roasted carrot and green bell pepper tacos with black beans, caramelized onions, and carrot green chimichurri.
This was a very good meal indeed. Carrot greens are redeemed.
Carrot Top Tacos
Ingredients for Carrot Green Chimichurri
- greens from one bunch of carrots
- one hot pepper, stems and seeds removed
- two cloves of garlic
- juice from half a lime
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
Ingredients for Tacos
- about 3 cups of carrots sliced into 1/2 inch coins
- 2 green bell peppers, sliced into strips
- yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil plus more for pan
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- pinch of cayenne
- one can of black beans (Eden Organic uses BPA free cans)
- lime wedges
To make the chimichurri:
Rinse and pick over the carrot greens and remove and tough or woody portions of stem. Roughly chop the remaining greens to keep stems from getting wound in the food processor. Add greens and remaining ingredients (olive oil last) to the food processor and pulse until well combined and desired consistency is reached.
To make tacos:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
While oven is preheating, coat a saute pan with olive oil and heat pan to medium/medium-high. Add onions and season with 1/2 tsp salt. Throughout preparation cook onions, stirring occasionally. Once onions begin to brown, reduce heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown.
Drain and rinse beans.
Toss carrots and bell peppers with 1 tbsp olive oil and spices (1/2 tsp salt reserved for onions). Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven when veggies are fork tender.
As veggies roast, heat black beans on the stove in a small pan.
Using a skillet or dry saute pan toast each side of tortillas, using tongs to flip between sides. Keep warm wrapped in a kitchen towel.
Assemble taco ingredients within a toasted tortilla and serve with a lime wedge.
Serves: 4 adults and 1 toddler