I vividly remember when I first found a mixed coloured bunch of carrots in Northern England, it made my day! The flavour difference between the colours is subtle. Having the tops still attached means you can see how fresh they really are. Roasted carrots with carrot top salsa verde is a brilliant way to use the whole carrot, it’s true root to shoot eating! Using carrot tops may be new to you, since often carrots are sold with the tops already removed, but they can be used just as you would use parsley in salsas and pestos.
Served hot or cold, this medley of roasted carrots dressed with a citrus carrot top salsa verde is a great side dish no matter what the season.
Serves 4–6 as a side dish.
- 1 bunch small carrots with tops – preferably organic
- 3–4 purple carrots
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ teaspoon of both salt and ground pepper
Pre-heat oven to 200ºC.
Trim tops off carrots and put in a bowl of water to soak/clean. If not organic make sure they are thoroughly rinsed. Use only bright, fresh carrot tops.
Wash and scrub the carrots, peel if preferred. Cut into even-sized pieces; little carrots can be left whole.
Blend olive oil, water, garlic, salt and pepper, toss the carrots in the mixture and arrange in a single layer on a baking tray.
Roast for 15–25 minutes, or until tender. Shake the tray after 10 minutes to ensure even roasting.
You could try brown bag roasting and serve with rosti.
Carrot top salsa verde
- ½ cup finely chopped carrot tops
- 1 finely diced shallot
- 2 tablespoons capers
- zest of a lemon
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- sea salt and pepper to taste
Whisk all ingredients together. Let the salsa rest for 10 minutes, taste, add more lemon or vinegar if needed. Season with salt and ground pepper to taste. For a smooth sauce blend ingredients together.
Add cooked lentils or toasted walnuts to the salsa and serve on millet, or a grain, for a satisfying meal. If carrots with tops aren’t available, parsley is a suitable alternative.
Grow your own – I now grow my own carrots in a mini polytunnel, I had a ready supply all winter of fresh, spray free baby carrots, my favourite is Purple Dragon, Purple skin with an orange centre. They go pinkish when Pickled.