Friday, September 25, 2015

Waste Not

There is a great deal of waste taking place in kitchens and groceries stores across this country.

Oh the horror! Especially for a foodie like me...

When we get produce from a grocery store, the produce is cleaned and tidied for the consumer so we don't always get the produce in its complete form--totally understandable. But I started thinking about Korean dishes that fellow blogger Maangchi shared with the world, and wondered: which tops are actually edible?

I grew carrots and beets in my backyard a couple years ago and observed that for a single root (what we generally consider the edible part of the plant) there is a lot of foliage going on, on top. Quick general science background in case you're not familiar with root/tuber plants: these plants produce lots of foliage during the growing season because the leaves are where food production takes place (plants grow their own food!) and as fall rolls around, they take all that food and store it in the root/tuber for the next season. Roots/tuber vegetables generally have more starch than their leafy or fruit/flower components.

The thing is, most people send the green (and red) tops of beets, carrots and radishes to their compost/garbage bins when in fact, they're tossing away an edible (unless you have allergies) leafy green! These young leafy greens are great additions to a salad with their peppery tasting leaves giving a little bit of pizzaz.

Photo credit: Todd & Diane

However, it is logical that it is off-putting when considering residual pesticides or other chemical additives that might linger so in that case, certainly toss it away. But if you have the chance to get organic or pesticide free leaves and tuber/roots, cut the leaves off when you get home and store each piece separately.

I didn't have the same patience to make the recipe that Maangchi posted but I decided to stir-fry it with garlic and salt....

Washing them in cold water to prep for cooking.
Don't forget to cut into halves of you'll just have one long leaf to eat!

  1. Clean up the leaves in cold water; halve the leaves so they're not one long piece to eat
  2. Shake off the excess water
  3. Mince garlic and set aside.
  4. Add some oil to a hot pan, waiting a minute for it to heat. You'll know it's hot enough when you tilt the pan around and the oil becomes more viscous.
  5. Added garlic to let that sizzle and cook a bit--careful not to let it burn so stir gently.
  6. Then drop in the green tops of radish and cook and stir/turn until wilted and dark green.
  7. If it gets too dry, add a tablespoon or splash of water--not too much or you'll have watery vegetables.
  8. Add a pinch or two of salt to bring out the flavour and voila!

Hello tasty!

It's my first time having them so here's my verdict... they're really tasty and quick to make! They are tougher than spinach and taste a little bitter (but I love bitter melon--those who don't know... you're in for a treat ha ha!) but still taste great.

Maybe you might have the opportunity to try this recipe or check online for other ways to use this wonderful forgotten gem!!


  1. Looks tasty and very resourceful, like kitchen Macgyver!

    1. thanks! it was an interesting vegetable that i never considered before!

  2. Very interesting! You are so lucky you can grow veggies in your yard. I tried to apply to a local community garden a while back and I was told the wait would be 5 years, ha ha!! I have always had a hankering to grow a pumpkin!

    1. i know, right! it's neat the things that you can learn about... check out farmers' markets or the like... i'm sure that would be equally awesome!