Salad of Edible Radish, Beet & Carrot Top Greens – Exciting, No Waste Recipes

Don't Waste Edible Greens: Beet, radish, carrot tops are delicious | @whiteonrice

There’s a misfortune and almost tragic waste of food occurring in the vegetative world. Greens that that we tend to overlook or don’t normally deem as edible are being tossed to the side as trash or compost material. Beautiful green tops from beets are normally valued as edible, but great tops from radishes and carrots are often poorly mistaken as un-edible.

Sadly, some beet and mostly carrot and radish top greens rarely ever make it to the plate. They’re not poisonous (so long as you have no allergies) and are simply, delicious.

Don't Waste Edible Greens: Beet, radish, carrot tops are delicious | @whiteonrice

Granted, when these tops are bought when the tops are older and tough, the texture and bitter taste can be un-pleasing to the palate. In addition to pesticide concerns that may lay remnant on the greens (buy pesticide-free greens!), these can be valid considerations to tossing them away. But when gardeners who are able to harvest the greens when they’re fresh and tender and who don’t use chemical sprays on their vegetable plots, there’s no reason to waste these marvelous greens! High quality, and superbly tender green tops can be found at farmers markets as well.

Fresh from the garden, carrot, radish and beet greens are so tender and flavorful in their raw state. When the roots are still young, the leaf colors and textures bring a whole new dimension to salads. Their nuances really make a compelling addition to almost any dish.


Don't Waste Edible Greens: Beet, radish, carrot tops are delicious | @whiteonrice

Radish Green Tops: The wonders of radish greens tops are endless. Completely edible and wonderfully peppery in taste, these can be add great bite to so many dishes. Even when they’ve reached their bitter stage, a few leaves tossed in a lettuce leaf salad will add a nice “bite”. If you can’t harvest baby radish leaves, then look for bunches with the most tender and new leaves when at the farmers market.

  • Tossed raw in salads
  • Sauteed with a fragrant Indian flair – Sauteed radish tops with mustard seeds
  • Pickled! Radish tops and stems in Maangchi’s Korean Kimchi bring wonderful crunch and flavor to spicy pickles
  • Soup – This radish top soup looks fabulous.
  • Smoothie! Radish Green Smoothie recipe


Don't Waste Edible Greens: Beet, radish, carrot tops are delicious | @whiteonrice


Carrot Tops: These delicate, lacy and gorgeous leaves are a wonderful finish to salads. Also high in nutrients, they’re great in brothy, healing soups. When buying your carrots, don’t let anyone remove their tops! Keep them on the carrots and enjoy!

  • Soup- Carrot Top and Quinoa Soup Recipe – this looks really good. What a great use of the WHOLE carrot!
  • Another Soup, with Black beans – High in protein and nutrients. Carrot top and black bean soup.
  • In a salad dressing? Yes, a Carrot Top Vinaigrette from the LA Times
  • Tea – Infuse carrot tops in a soothing tea
  • Juice whole carrots, including the greens for extra nutrients and fiber – Drink refreshing carrot top juice


Don't Waste Edible Greens: Beet, radish, carrot tops are delicious | @whiteonrice

Beet Tops- These greens get lots of salad love and their brilliant red colors are deserving of all their salad alcolades. But even beyond the salad, beet greens are wonderful when prepared in other types of dishes.

  • Elise says to not waste the tops! So true. Simply Recipes gorgeous sauteed beet greens recipe.
  • Braised beet greens seem wonderful here. Can do magic with tougher, older leaves.
  • Roasted – this method could really bring out great flavors in the greens! Toss goat cheese in the beet roots too and mmmmm…….
  • Pasta and beet greens- looks great and satisfying. A healthy combination of pasta and colorful beet greens.
  • We love sauteeing beet greens in a little olive oil, garlic, touch of soy sauce then add crumbled goat cheese on top. Sorry no recipe here…..wing it!

Treat all these tops like any other nutritious green and feel good about it too. No waste. Let’s all forage ahead and start eating leaf to root, top to tip, or what ever it takes to take the whole vegetable to your plate.

enjoy all your greens!

-diane and todd

Don't Waste Edible Greens: Beet, radish, carrot tops are delicious | @whiteonrice

Salad of Radish, Carrot and/or Beet tops with Vermouth Vinaigrette

Yield: 3-4

This is one of our favorite vinaigrettes, adapted from our favorite cookbook,  Private collections. Our spinach salad with toasted almonds is hugely popular when dressed with this vermouth vinaigrette. This dressing is super flavorful and a wonderful accompaniment to all the peppery, grassy and more bold flavors of radish, carrot and beet greens. You can keep the salad to purely tops from these vegetables, or use them as an accompaniment in a lettuce salad.


  • about 1 pound greens- any combinations of radish, carrot, beet or lettuce. Remove any tough stems or central veins. Washed and dried.
  • 1/4 cup sliced carrots or radishes
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dry vermouth
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed, olive or salad oil
  • optional accompaniments- tomatoes, toasted almonds, walnuts, croutons


  1. In a medium bowl or mason jar, combine all ingredients together except for greens, vegetables and accompaniments
  2. In bowl, whisk ingredients together well. In mason jar, close lid tightly and shake well until all ingredients are combined
  3. Toss into greens, then top with accompaniments.
Recipe Source:

Hello! All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use our images without prior permission and do not re-publish this recipe. Simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.
Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

Join in on this fun Summer Fest 2009 Event!


  • Simply leave your tip or recipe or favorite links in the comments below a Summer Fest post on our blog, and then go visit our collaborators and do the same.
  • The cross-blog event idea works best when you leave your recipe or favorite links (whether to your own blog or someone else’s) at all the host blogs. That way, they are likely to be seen by the widest audience. Everyone benefits, and some pretty great dialog starts simmering.



{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. sylvieamesee

    The perfect textures and flavors combo for me!

  2. Barbara Fankhauser

    You don’t specify if its sweet vermouth or dry vermouth. I will assume dry but let me know if I’m wrong.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Dry is correct.

  3. jillian

    thanks for your information. I have an abundance of beet top right now. Do you know if they can be blanched and frozen like spinach?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Should work just fine.

  4. John Fisher

    Great recipe ideas. I really feel sorry for all those people who leave the beet greens sitting on the shelf in the supermarket. Gotta remember to ask the produce manager if he’d be willing to give them to me, since they probably just throw them in the trash at the end of the day.

    1. Jan

      I already checked and it’s a no can do due to store regulations….a legal thing.

  5. Julie

    I could’ve sworn I read an article from the NY Times saying that carrot greens were toxic. I would double-check.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      There have been “experts” saying they are perfectly safe, and other “experts” saying they are potentially toxic for some individuals. At this point it seems best for everyone to do their own research and make the best decision for themselves. Thanks for bringing up the point.

  6. Karen

    We – Koreans – make Chong Gak Kimchi with the whole radish all the time. I love radish tops in it. Nothing goes to waste!

    I use carrot top instead of parsley. And I dry them for later too.

  7. locavore colorado

    Your links on this page for great recipes is no longer working (they did last week). Thanks!

  8. Brad

    A little late to the post, yet I just purchased some nice looking radishes. I’m not sure whether they are organic or not. I want to try the greens because they look delicious, but I’m scared to eat them as they might have pesticide residue on them. Should I wash them really good and chance it or not/

    1. White on Rice Couple

      That should be a consideration for the radishes as much as it is for the greens. Will they probably kill you… Most likely not. However we aren’t doctors or scientists who’ve researched the effects of pesticides on our bodies. We all consume quite of a bit of stuff which we have no idea about. If you are comfortable eating the radishes, you should be comfortable eating the greens.

  9. Daniel Robertson Reynolds

    This inspired me to use carrot greens in a pasta sauce. Sauteed, they lose some of their astringency and thicken up the sauce while acting as a good parsley substitute.

  10. sarah

    Finally tried out this recipe because my Fresh Market had carrots and beets with some beautiful, fresh looking greens (can usually get beet green suitable for sautee, and the carrot tops are usually pretty nasty looking)…So delicious! That dressing is a keeper too!

  11. Yoko

    I just made this tonight and it was awesome!
    I put it alongside some grilled lamb sirloin steaks, and believe me the salad was the belle of the ball.
    I didn’t have any vermouth so I used sake (rice wine) instead and added a whole sleu of other veggies (cilantro, jicama, baby spinach, red pepper) since the carrot & radish tops were too tough to eat.
    The dressing is amazing – definitely our favorite vinaigrette from now on.

    Thanks for the great recipe 🙂

  12. Angus

    Amazing I have just got in to vegtable topps after years of eating and cooking.
    Most U.K. outlets sell veg without there topps, what a con.
    Here in Munich where I am at the moment, they come with or without topps.
    I love making soup and am about to fry some up with potatoe and onion.

  13. frecklesinhawaii

    This is my new favorite site! Thank you so much for the video of your garden. It was amazing. Thx for reminding us not to give up and how much hard work and time it took for your garden to mature. You are completely right about container gardening in any available space. I’ve done the city window sill thing just to save money on herbs then later managed to build a raised bed in a back yard as well. Your garden is a reflection of how much love you guys have. Very cool. p.s. I made Banh Mi today. So good. Thx for the inspiration.

  14. tara

    This is the sort of article one should keep bookmarked during summer’s bounty – so many great ideas for using every part of the plant! Carrot top tea sounds intriguing.

  15. White on Rice Couple

    Hi Sarah- We corrected the first link and both are working. Unfortunately, they just load really really SLOW. But they’re still there. You just have a wait a bit. Enjoy!

  16. sarah

    Do you still have the URLs for the two carrot top soups? The links aren’t working for me.

  17. Zo

    Yay, it’s so good to see more people eating all of a vegetable! I like getting the off-shoots of broccoli from the farmers market with the leaves still attached, which are rich in all sorts of nutrients that aren’t as concentrated in the florets.

    I totally didn’t know you could eat carrot leaves! Thanks for this great post… + gorgeous photography!

  18. Jeff

    Beautiful write up and definitely going to look into summer fest because I love this idea.

    I agree on the whole excess waste thing and it is sad because so many of the overlooked items taste freaking amazing especially just raw. I also love duck with radishes and then some wilted radish leaves. Of course I believe everything in life is better with duck fat.

    Waste not want not is what my mom and grandma beat into me (litteraly once by grandma when I threw away some greens I thought were inedible).

  19. Chris De La Rosa

    This reminds me that I must go check my garden at the community garden plot. I should have all the ingredients for this. Like others, I didn;t know you could use the tops of carrots. Your pic makes this look so delicious.

  20. Jacqueline

    Well, it’s one of the least attractive things I’ve made lately, but it has the requisite beans and greens. And after all, sometimes the solid, comforting kitchen-sink soup is nice. We can’t always be a jewel-toned, gem of a salad. Vermouth in the dressing! Veg were never this glamourous when I was growing up. But more of it I say…More!

    Here’s the old White Bean and Escarole Soup when your nerves have been jangled by too many sexy salads…come have some simple, satisfying soup. 😉

    PS We always thought you couldn’t eat carrot tops! I use radish tops and beet greens in curries or saute them agro-dolce style.

    Gorgeous as per usual, you two. I’ll have to step up my game tomorrow night!

  21. pam

    I am afraid that I am guilty of not using every good part of my veggies! No more waste!

  22. yasmin

    this post is simply stunning. i THINK i can get my hands on some radishes fresh enough to use the greens right now, but i never think of using carrot tops. i’m looking forward to trying the vermouth vinaigrette. i can’t remember the last time i really followed a recipe (inspired by many but i never really follow along) but i am so excited to try this.

    i just put up a post this week singing the praises of wild arugula. but any arugula will work in the (very simple) recipe i’m contributing this week to summerfest:
    arugula, celery and chevre salad

  23. ABowlOfMush

    I would have to call this The Peter Rabbit salad!
    Its beautiful and has made me very hungry!

  24. Rosy

    I love the idea of using the tops of veg! I knew about the beet greens, but carrots and radishes!? Great idea. Especially as our radishes only managed to produce greens and no root to speak of! My contribution for this week is a simple risotto Rosy xx

  25. Sarah Olson

    Great photos and so many recipes, I can’t wait to look at them all!

    Here’s my contribution about the good ol’ green bean:

  26. Gavan Murphy 'The Healthy Irishman'

    Thanks for all the info guys. Always great to get some new ideas.
    I made a beautiful green bean salad with herbs from my garden.

  27. Tammy

    I’m convinced! Now if I could just grow such beautiful carrots, beets, etc. as yours!! Here is my recipe for this week. Kale Chips. Cut off the leaves of a large bunch of Kale, discard the stems. Tear into pieces, wash & dry thoroughly. Spread on a cookie sheet and drizzle or spray with olive oil. Sprinkle on Kosher salt and Parmesan cheese. Bake @ 375 for 12 min.

  28. Heather @ chiknpastry

    Awesome post – thanks for the tips!

    I made a green bean & farro salad for this week! Does it help that it’s topped with goat cheese? yummer!!

  29. Holly

    I just bought some beautiful organic carrots with really fresh tops and was trying to figure out what to do with them. I used them in my poaching liquid for chicken, the problem was that it turn the chicken green.
    Here is a recipe for a Salmon and Watercress Salad

  30. maybelles mom

    I adore tops–particularly radish. Good with dal, good with eggs, and great source of iron. But the carrot is a little of a hard sell for me. Your suggestions sound tempting but I am just not sure.

  31. Diana

    What a great post! I’ve been getting tons of beet, radish, carrot and turnip greens in our CSA and mostly use them in smoothies. There’s something so fulfilling about using every part of the vegetable.

    I’ve been trying all kinds of greens that I’ve never had before through our CSA. Our first week we got 4 shopping bags full of 8 different greens and I was a little overwhelmed. I began playing with dressings and came up with a tasty buttermilk dressing and some beautiful lacy parmesan bowls.
    But my absolute favorite new recipe for greens is swiss chard and goat cheese soup. I’ve been making it by the gallon and freezing it for winter!

  32. Michelle @

    Your salad looks fantastic!
    Back in February, when I found myself drowning in the San Francisco Fog, I made a Fava Bean Stew with Arugula and Meyer Lemon (Beans and Greens!). It was simple, hearty, warming, and utterly satisfying – just what I needed. You can view the recipe and photo here:

  33. Jennifer

    Now I may eat these lovelies without the guilt of “the tops toss.” Thank you for the bounty of recipe tips.

  34. Kelsey/TheNaptimeChef

    I am thrilled to see a recipe calling for carrot tops. I always buy them at the Farmers’ Market and never know what to do with the greens! Here is my recipe for this week, Green Beans tossed with toasted walnuts, olive oil and sea salt. Simple and delicious!

  35. Jenn@slim-shoppin

    You’ve opened up my eyes. I’ve never eaten the green tops of any veggies!!!

    My Mom has a great garden, so I will be doing this the next time I am at her house.

    I just found your site today, and I LOVE your pictures!!

  36. Lorene

    Thank you for the beautiful photos. Under the Bean category in today’s SUMMERFEST series go to to read what I do with ‘Lazy Housewife’ green beans. Great name and even better taste!!! Quick pickle, martini garnish, and savory side…they’re delicious.

  37. Miakoda

    Beautiful greens and a huge variety of dishes to choose from. Awesome 🙂

  38. Chef Gwen

    What an incredibly useful post! Waste not, want not. Thanks for all the extras, too, like other ideas to incorporate these pretty little tops.

    I did an Asian-inspired Sesame Soy Glazed Green Bean recipe:

  39. Danielle

    How interesting! I never thought about whether those tops were edible or not, and just assumed they weren’t!

    My post is also about using things up, though in more of a whatever’s-in-the-fridge way:

  40. cosmic cowgirl

    i love the economy of using ALL the parts–great job and great photos, as usual. i went a different direction, while still keeping with the theme:

  41. Deb Mele

    Wow, I guess you learn something every day! We eat beet greens all the time but I never knew one could eat carrot or radish tops! Your photos as always make everything look delicious.

    I recently made a rustic tart using bietola (swiss chard) you can find here at
    As for beans, I am not sure if we are talking the same kind of beans, but here is a delicious borlotti bean soup I made recently at


  42. gabrielaskitchen

    I’m loving that you and Matt are doing beets, they’re one of my favorite foods!

    I read this about carrot tops in the NYT: Do you know if there are exceptions to which are edible?

    Here’s our Summerfest contribution: Five Bean Salad from Guanajuato

  43. Kristina

    I’ve grown beets just for the greens because I love them so much. That’s a gorgeous salad!

    Here’s my entry for this week – my East Tennessee came out:

  44. commonweeder

    I just found your blog through the Summer Fest. I love it. I guess I knew radish greens would be edible, but I never thought of carrot greens. The chickens got them. And I am fascinated by the carrot top and quinoa soup recipe. I’ve just discovered quinoa, too and I plan to make it a staple. Thank you.

  45. Charmian Christie

    I had no idea you could eat the tops of carrots! I’m definitely going to pick up some baby carrots, tops attached, at the Farmers’ Market this weekend. Posts like this make me want to grow vegetables and not just flowers.

    Thanks for the great ideas!

    I made zucchini bisque for this week’s challenge. It’s not nearly as innovative as this, but it is tasty.

  46. David

    I never thought about using radish leaves and stems in my kimchi. Great idea!

Leave a Reply