As I begin to harvest things in my own small vegetable garden and visit the Farmer Frog booth at the Everett Mall Friday Farmer’s Market I’m learning more and more parts of the plants we normally toss in the compost that we can (and should) be eating! It is interesting and exciting to me so I thought I’d share a few.
Carrot tops – Chop them onto your salad, or make a carrot top pesto!
Squash and pumpkin leaves and stems – So many possibilities, sauté them, put in soups and stews or with pasta. Tastes like pumpkin, even a little like pine nuts.
Radishes – You can eat the WHOLE thing; forming seed pods, flowers, leaves and stalks, and of course the root.
Grape leaves – Hungarian recipes use them in pasta dishes, or make a Greek inspired dolmas, rolling rice and meat up in the leaves and steaming them. YUM!
Broccoli and cauliflower stalks and leaves – remove peel and grate into a salad or make a slaw, chop and throw in soups. Leaves make excellent chips.
Beet and turnip greens – use anywhere greens are called for, soups, sauté, toss with pasta…so many tasty opportunities.
Pea shoots – stir fry them or add them into salads, use them as you would some baby spinach; tastes like peas.
Kale stems – throw them in a pot with water and other veggies and/or bones to make a delicious broth or soup base, or cook them down to make a pesto-like sauce.
Onion leaves and flower stalks with bud – just like garlic scapes, these are delicious, less strong as the onion itself.
Maple tree leaves – yes, if you have a maple tree, the leaf buds are great in spring salads and the leaves in summer and fall can be used as tempura items, savory or sweet.
It is best to remove the greens from the root and store them separately in the refrigerator as the greens let off some moisture. Come see us this Friday from 3 – 7 pm (our last week for this summer) to pick up great fresh produce and try something new this weekend!
Sources: Farmer Frog volunteers speaking from experience, and other articles and recipes linked here.