In Defense of the Carrot Greens

Look, I know I’m biased. I just finished this dish not more than fifteen minutes ago. Heck, I’ve still got a small piece of carrot green stuck on my thumb as I type this very word. And these. OK, it’s gone.

STILL. The meal—seasoned avocado on sautéed carrot greens and onions with soft-boiled eggs—was delicious. Just a hearty, satisfying vegetable lunch that took about 25 minutes to prep and make, with ingredients that mostly came from yesterday’s Newport Beach Farmers’ Market.

I won’t bore you with a long diatribe about zero waste and the benevolence of cooking ugly carrots, or eating gnarly, green carrot tops. Nobody wants that lecture, especially not on a Monday. So, instead we cook. Here’s the recipe:


(If you can think of a catchier name, email me.)

  • 1 bunch carrots with greens (this recipe just uses the greens)
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 2 c. water
  • 5 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 2 farm fresh eggs
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tbsp. parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp. California olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

A note: The carrot greens, onion, rosemary, cilantro and eggs came from Divine Harvest Family Farms.

Cut the carrot greens from the carrots (store carrots away for another time). In a bowl, separate the feathery, green leaves of the carrot green stem. DO NOT EAT THE STEM. (Very important, hence the caps and bold.) Carrot greens get a bad name for themselves as the troubled kid on the block for this very reason. The stems are extremely bitter and hard to eat. It’s true that separating the leaves is a task tedious and annoying but it’s well worth it in the end. Sure, you could cook the greens as is, stem and all, but please be prepared to suffer the dark, twisted and macabre consequences.

Anyway, while you’re busy de-stemming your greens, thinly slice your onion and add to a medium-sized sauté pan with olive oil and a bit of salt. Let cook until golden brown and soft. In a separate pot, boil about two cups of water. Add eggs and boil for 12 minutes then remove and allow to cool. As your eggs are cooling and your onions are honey-colored and smelling delish, add in the greens with a splash more of olive oil, salt and pepper and the rosemary. (MAKE SURE YOU ALSO DESTEM THE ROSEMARY BECAUSE WE ARE NOT ABOUT THAT TWIGS-IN-OUR-MEAL LIFE.)

Allow to cook until the green have wilted to practically nothing. At this point, stir in the parmesan cheese and cook about one minute more.

Next, let’s plate! Add the carrot greens to a plate as the base for your dish. Slice each egg in half and set on the dish in a beautiful and modern way to frame the greens. Cube your half of an avocado and add to a separate bowl. Toss with salt, pepper and olive oil then plate in the center of your dish. Chop cilantro (optional if the herb tastes like soap to you, which as it turns out is genetic). Add a twist or two of fresh, cracked pepper and enjoy!

P.S. If you want to check out previous Make Your Market recipes, here they are for your lovely convenience:

Coffee Squash
On the Beet
You’ve Got Kale
Mint Tea