Welcome to a new section of A Fostered Life — the #RecipeFail section! This is a category of posts referring to recipes I tried that totally missed the mark. Today I’ll share about this week’s Adventure in Cooking: my attempt at carrot top salad.
In fact, this is also the launch of a new tag on the blog: the “Cooking the CSA” tag. We are members of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and every Thursday, a box of produce is delivered to our door. I absolutely love being part of a CSA, and I’m actually planning to do a video on my YouTube channel very soon about it. This tag refers to my experiences with utilizing all of the items that come in the CSA box each week.
So this week, we got a gorgeous bunch of purple carrots in our box, complete with fluffy, lush greens. It seemed to me such a shame to waste the greens, so I did a little digging and found a few recipes online for carrot tops. I decided on “Carrot Greens with Sesame Dressing” from food writer Melissa Clark’s blog.
A caveat: I did not have any fresh ginger on hand, so I used powdered ginger instead. But that did not ruin the dressing and is not the reason that I consider this a #recipefail.
The reason it’s a #recipefail is that, despite the fact that I blanched and shocked them as prescribed, the greens were tough and chewy. My husband, who is all in favor of new ways to eat greens, agreed that it was just an unpleasant experience all the way around. (I didn’t even bother serving them to our six-year-old. He’s a great eater, and willing to try new things, but I know when to draw the line, and tough carrot greens is definitely “the line.” That would be asking a lot of a six-year-old!)
I don’t blame Melissa Clark or her recipe. I blame the greens. I think that, while the carrots are fresh and beautiful and will make a wonderful side dish this week, the greens were past their prime. After all, root veggies last a long time. But their greens can’t be expected to have the same long shelf life.
That said, I will not be going out of my way to cook carrot tops again any time soon. Maybe I’ll throw them in a smoothie with LOTS of other greens and fruits—I’m sure their chock full of good vitamins, and I do love the idea of eating everything in the CSA.But I won’t be going to the trouble of trimming, washing, blanching, draining, shocking, and dressing them for a while.