Carrot Greens Salt
This past weekend I was browsing a German food mag site and happened upon an article about what to do with vegetable greens. The article was arguing against buying pre-packaged vegetables because they’re sold without the greens, which are said to have more nutritious value than the vegetables themselves.
I try to buy non-packaged vegetables but most of them already have the greens removed if bought at the supermarket. At the market, the stall holders will usually ask whether you want the veg with or without greens, and I have to admit to be a “without” sayer. The reason is simply that the greens don’t appeal to me. I’m not a soup or broth maker, where you could use the greens, and so far I have lacked imagination of what else to do with them.
The magazine article talked, among other possibilities, about making celery salt and carrot greens pesto. I’m not keen on celery – the root yes, for soups, but not the stalks – and I didn’t fancy making pesto, so I just swapped the two and decided to make carrot greens salt. The article also said the carrot greens are sweeter, more like the carrots themselves, and I have to say the scent coming from the oven during the drying process was a very nice one, and it did have a sweet-ish touch.
Making this salt was quite a happy experience. First the nice smell coming from the oven, then the fantastic colour the mortared greens turned into, and then I discovered my bathroom window was a fabulous light source for photography. Just place a board/surface over the bathtub, pull up blinds and voilà – great back light! And easy clean-up too if any spills occur 🙂 .
Although I almost lost half of the dried greens in transport. I forgot that they’re much lighter than the un-dried greens and can fly off the baking sheet if not careful…
It’s not too much work to get this great result. Plucking off the leaves takes the most time, the oven takes care of the drying, and then you just have to grind it in batches with a mortar and pestle. The recipe said to use 40 g of leaves and add 2 tsp of salt. I used 3 tsp as the original ratio of ground greens to salt didn’t look right. The 3 tsp seem good, and if required more can be added at a later date by grinding just the salt in the mortar and adding it to the jar.
If you want to make this, here is how to do it:
Take a bunch of carrots and pluck off the leaves – about 40 g is ideal. Place on a baking sheet and dry in the oven at 80ºC (fan) on middle shelf for 25 – 35 minutes. The drying time also depends on how you spread out the greens – loosely is better than in bunches and takes a shorter time. The leaves should be completely dry.
Remove from oven and grind in batches in a mortar until you get a fine powder. Place all the powder in the mortar and add 3 tsp of coarse sea salt. Grind until the salt breaks up – it doesn’t have to be as fine as the greens.
Store in a jar.
I can’t wait to use this carrot greens salt. My first try will be to sprinkle it over oven potatoes with a little olive oil. I’m definitely going to make this again because I think it’ll make a great little gift. Also, I’ll be looking into other greens to turn into salt, maybe beet or kohlrabi greens.