The last bunch of carrots I bought from the market came with very fresh tops. Usually, they’re too wet and limp from over-spritzing, but this time I couldn’t just chop and throw them away.
I remember a time when I was growing up in Manila and cooking. My Uncle Tony was quietly watching me slice some tomatoes. I sliced off the top, where the stem was, and then the bottom and discarded those parts. He asked me if they had gone bad and I said no. Why did you throw them out then? he retorted. Why did I throw them out? I think just because they were “ends”. From that day on, I have used an entire tomato as long as no part of it was too bruised to eat. I also string fresh beans diligently to avoid just chopping off the ends and wasting some flesh and I roast Brussels sprouts whole to keep all the leaves intact, leaving guests to remove the hard ends themselves while eating.
Eat the tops with the carrot and you won’t just get your dose of beta carotene: carrot tops are a great source of chlorophyll that contain cleansing properties to purify the blood, lymph nodes and adrenal glands and in turn clear tumors from our bodies. See? There was always a good reason why Bugs Bunny ate the entire thing.
1 bunch of carrots, including the green tops, chopped
1/2 cup cooked rice
3 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
a few sprigs of thyme
1 small red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
oil, salt, pepper
1. In a small saucepan, heat some oil and sauté garlic until brown and onions until soft. Add the carrots and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the carrot tops with the thyme and cook until tops are wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Add stock and let simmer, halfway covered, for up to 20 minutes or until carrots are tender. During the last 3 minutes, stir in cooked rice. Adjust taste with a few more sprinkles of salt and pepper.