I have a fabulously easy, quick and summery recipe for you today – and best of all, this recipe uses the radish greens that usually end up in the bin. A peppery, delicious, vibrantly green pesto and less waste? Fresh Radish Green Pesto is my kinda recipe.
If you are planning on making this pesto, separate the greens from the radishes as soon as you come home – the fresher the better. It is really as simple as giving them a good rinse, removing any that are wilted or have a woody stem, then blitzing in the food processor with nuts, parmesan, olive oil and a little seasoning. Spoon it all into a clean jar, cover with a little olive oil and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
It is fabulous to use right away, stirred through spaghetti (try it with roasted radishes! Amazing, trust me!), with bruschetta, beaten through cream cheese for a dip, or mixed into a vinaigrette for a summery salad. This is one recipe where you really need to season to taste – I always go light on the garlic as I want to taste the flavour of the leaves, but go ahead and throw loads in if that’s your thing.
As with any kind of preserve, make sure your storage glass is scrupulously clean. As this pesto is kept in the fridge for only a short time, I find it is enough to simply cover the jar and lid with boiling water before draining and allowing to dry.
You can use this recipe as a jumping off point for all sorts of other leaves – rocket/arugala or even nasturtium leaves make wonderfully spicy pesto.
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!
- greens from 1 bunch of radishes
- 75 g unsalted nuts, eg. walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and sliced
- 50-75 g grated Parmesan cheese, Grana padano, Parmigiano, Pecorino etc.
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 - 1 tsp sugar, to taste
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Wash the radish greens well, taking care to remove any wilted or yellowing leaves and any woody stems.
- Pack the greens into a food processor with the blade attachment fitted. Add the nuts, garlic, cheese and lemon juice and pulse to a rough paste.
- Add the olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper, pulsing until the mixture has emulsified and you are happy with the texture. I like a rough and rustic pesto, but you may prefer it smoother - if so, add another tablespoon or two of oil and continue to pulse the mixture until smooth. Taste when you are done and see if it needs more seasoning. Only you will know if you are happy with the flavour!
- Spoon the pesto into a scrupulously clean jar , packing down well to ensure there are no air bubbles. Pour enough olive oil over the top to ensure it is completely covered, and store in the fridge for one to two weeks until ready to use.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not leave the processor running as you add the olive oil - this can result in an extremely bitter flavour. Use the pulse function, or switch on and off to gradually bring the pesto together instead.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What sort of nuts should I use to make Radish Green Pesto?
I use a bag of mixed nuts (almond, hazelnut, cashew, walnut and brazil) as that is something I always have in the kitchen. Feel free to experiment with other nut types – pistachios would give a nice colour, pine nuts are the (expensive) classic – go wild. Do use unsalted nuts though so you can control the saltiness of the finished product to your tastes.
How long will Radish Green Pesto keep?
Several days under a layer of oil in the fridge. I actually prefer to freeze mine so that it keeps vibrant and fresh for longer.