Don’t throw away those beautiful carrot tops! In just 5 minutes, you can whiz them up into a bright and fresh carrot top chimichurri, then proceed to put it on everything.
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What is Chimichurri?
If you’re not familiar with chimichurri, it’s a condiment kind of like pesto that originates from Argentina and Uruguay. It’s a simple, fresh uncooked sauce that is typically made from chopped parsley, garlic, oil, vinegar, and, sometimes, something spicy.
Because fresh leafy carrot tops are sweet, earthy, with mild carrot flavor — and similar to parsley — they add just the right amount of herbaceousness to chimichurri.
You’re going to love putting carrot top chimichurri on everything from grilled meats, roasted vegetables, pasta, salads, bread — you can even use it as a marinade.
You’re going to love this
Easy, delicious condiment — It only takes 5 minutes to make this chimichurri recipe.
No food waste — With this carrot greens recipe, you can feel great about having a delicious way to use the carrot tops, instead of throwing them away.
Carrot tops. Carrot tops are the star of the chimichurri and add mild carrot-like flavor. You can also use parsley.
Fresh oregano and parsley. You can also use fresh mint, or substitute dried oregano or parsley — just remember that one tablespoon of fresh herbs equals one teaspoon of dried herbs.
Fresh garlic. Fresh garlic adds sharp flavor and texture to the chimichurri.
Green onions. Green onions add even more brightness. Chives are a great substitution for green onions. Minced shallot would also be nice.
Orange juice and zest. Lemon or lime juice and zest would also be delicious.
Red pepper flakes. Red pepper flakes add a nice level of heat and another textural element. If you’re worried about it being too hot, start small. You can substitute a dash of cayenne pepper or sriracha.
Balsamic vinegar. Classic chimichurri typically has white or red wine vinegar or sometimes apple cider vinegar. Balsamic adds deep, rich flavor in addition to bright acidity. You can use whatever kind of vinegar you have and like.
Olive oil. Avocado oil or grapeseed oil are great substitutes for olive oil.
Remove carrot tops from the carrots and rinse them thoroughly to remove any soil.
Dry them in a salad spinner or with paper towels. Pick through them to select the most vibrantly green, freshest looking carrot tops for the chimichurri.
In a small food processor, or with a sharp knife, coarsely chop the carrot tops, oregano, parsley, and garlic. Add the green onions and pulse or chop until everything is finely chopped.
Place the chopped herbs in a bowl and add the orange juice, orange zest, red pepper flakes, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Stir until well combined.
Do not use a food processor for this step so the chimichurri doesn't turn into a paste.
Chimichurri typically tastes best when it’s had some time for the flavors to mingle. Let it rest in the refrigerator for a few hours before using.
Let it come to room temperature before serving.
Store leftover carrot top chimichurri sauce in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Chop the carrot greens and herbs in a food processor to save yourself some elbow grease.
Stir the chopped herbs with the remaining ingredients, instead of blending together in the food processor, so the chimichurri stays doesn’t turn into a paste.
Prepare the chimichurri a few hours before serving to allow the flavors to mingle.
Adjust the seasoning to your taste preferences. Start small on flavors you’re not sure of and add more as you go. And feel free to throw in additional spices and herbs you love.
Chimichurri is kind of like pesto, in that it’s made with chopped herbs and garlic. However, it doesn’t have cheese or nuts, and it gets a bright burst of tanginess from vinegar. It originates from Argentina and Uruguay and is traditionally used on grilled meats.
You can use this chimichurri over any grilled vegetable, on grilled pork, chicken, or fish, as a salad dressing, or as a bread dipper.
Yes, chimichurri freezes exceptionally well. For small portions, you can freeze it in an ice cube tray and keep in the freezer for up to about three months. To thaw, just let it defrost in the refrigerator or on your counter.
Yes, you can make chimichurri a few days ahead of time.
You can store leftover chimichurri in your refrigerator for up to a week.
How to Use Chimichurri
When I say you can put chimichurri on almost anything, I really wasn’t kidding. Here are 17 ideas to use chimichurri.
- As a pasta salad dressing
- On poached eggs
- Brushed onto grilled bread
- On grilled steaks, chops, and chicken
- As a meat marinade
- Mixed with mayo for a sandwich spread
- On top of tacos
- On burgers or hot dogs
- Tossed with roasted vegetables
- Drizzled over pizza
- As a baked potato topper
- On deviled eggs
- Stirred into rice
- On corn on the cob
- Stirred into soup
- Drizzled over fresh tomatoes
- On nachos or loaded fries
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Carrot Top Chimichurri
- ¼ cup carrot tops, cleaned and dried
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 green onions
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Remove carrot tops from the carrots and rinse them thoroughly to remove any soil. Dry them in a salad spinner or with paper towels. Pick through them to select the most vibrantly green, freshest looking carrot tops for the chimichurri.
- In a small food processor, or with a sharp knife, coarsely chop the carrot tops, oregano, parsley, and garlic. Add the green onions and pulse or chop until everything is finely chopped.
- Place the chopped herbs in a bowl and add the orange juice, orange zest, red pepper flakes, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Stir until well combined.
- Chimichurri tastes best when it’s had some time for the flavors to mingle. Let it rest in the refrigerator for a few hours, then let it come to room temperature before serving
- Store leftover carrot top chimichurri in your refrigerator for up to a week.