Eating green in the garden

Beet Greens

Image credit: Beet Greens by Amy, on Flickr. CC BY 2.0.

It’s getting close to the time we get to enjoy the goodies our home gardens and farmer’s markets have brought to our table! Since a lot of hard work and sweaty hours were put in to grow these tasty delights, don’t you want to take advantage of every morsel?

The cool thing about growing your own vegetables–or getting them fresh from the farm–is you usually get the greens still attached to the vegetables. Did you know that most of these greens are edible, too? Even better, the leaves are packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, potassium and calcium.

When I last participated in a Community Supported Agriculture group, I was determined to eat everything I got (even if I didn’t know what it was). I knew that beet greens were edible, but I didn’t know that the greens of most of the items in my farm share could be eaten, too. Due to my lack of knowledge, I didn’t take advantage of my bounty as much as I could have.

To spare you from making the same mistake, here’s a list of common vegetable greens you can eat (and some recipe ideas to whet your appetite):


I tried sauteing beet greens with a little olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and, honestly, I didn’t love the results. But I had a lot to use, so I tried them raw. I julienned the leaves and mixed them with other salad greens and topped the salad with a lemony dressing and had a more pleasant experience.

Here are a couple of other ideas:


Kohlrabi had a funny name and it looks weird, but it’s really quite tasty. I enjoy eating it roasted with some olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. (But, really, what vegetable doesn’t taste good roasted with those things?)

If you want to go beyond a simple roasting, try these:


I haven’t tried these yet, but they are said to have a hint of broccoli flavor in them. According to those in the know, the smaller leaves are better for eating in salads and larger leaves are better for cooking.

Want to give them a try? Check these options out:


Again, a green I haven’t eaten yet, but it’s packed with vitamin C so it’s worth giving a try.


I haven’t tried carrot greens, either, but I imagine they have a grassy flavor. Here’s some creative ways to use the greens up:


I have eaten radish greens and they are delicious chopped up in a salad. The have a mild peppery taste, much like the radish root.

Here are some recipes I want to try this summer:

These are just some of the many edible vegetable greens that may make it from the farm to your table. Have you tried these or any others I didn’t list? I’d love to hear about your culinary adventures cooking with vegetable greens!