Radish Greens Pesto

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Don't throw away your radish leaves!

Radish Greens Pesto

I've been growing radishes for a couple of years now and I love using the root in salads and stirfry's (at some stage I am going to attempt roasted radish.)
However, I knew you could eat the leaves but always found them to be quite tough and prickly so I didn't really use them for anything other than adding into the compost. (Totally regret this now as I'd much prefer it in my fridge as something delicious.)

I love basil pesto, but have only ever once been able to grow enough basil to make a single batch.
A few nights ago as I was pulling off the leaves of my radish, I stood wondering what I could use them for before I discarded them into the compost. This was when I had the idea of using the leaves to make pesto.

Not only does it solve my problem of not being able to grow enough basil, but it uses up something that was just being composted, it saves money (as it's turning waste into food), makes my growing efforts all the more worth while and radish greens are REALLY good for you.

Another great thing about them is that you can leave your radish root in the ground to grow and just take the leaves off. Just leave the middle ones to keep growing. (A little bit like cutting the outer leaves from a lettuce to keep it producing for longer.)

Similar things that you can do this with are carrots and beetroot which don't have such tough leaves so, while you're waiting for the root to grow you can add the leaves into salads.

How to make radish leaf pestoRadish Leaf Pesto

 

Ingredients:

Please note the amounts are just a very loose guideline. Everything in this recipe is adjustable to suit your preferred taste and texture.
Radish Leaves (I had around 18 plants)
Juice from 1/2 - 1 whole Lemon
Just over a handful each of Pinenuts or Cashews or Almonds (I used half cashews and half almonds as they are cheaper)
A handful of Basil leaves (Optional)
 2 Tbsp Garlic
1-2 tsp Cumin
1 - tsp Paprika
Parmesan Cheese (I used colby as that's what I had in the fridge and could afford, tasty or feta would have been a better substitute)
1 tsp Salt & Pepper
1/2 - 1 cup Oil
1/2 tsp Chilli (Optional)
For a vegan/dairy free option just leave out the cheese.
How to make radish leaf pesto | Ecore

Method:

Step 1. Thoroughly wash your radish leaves to remove any dirt and bugs. Give them a shake to remove any excess water. (Or dry with a towel if you really want to.)

Making radish leaf pesto | Ecore

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2. Remove the leaves from the stalk. (You could probably use the stalk too but I decided not to as I thought it might make the final product too stringy.)

Making radish leaf pesto | Ecore

Step 3. Add all the ingredients into a food processor. (Only add 1/4 of the oil, then keep adding it if your mixture isn't turning easily.) Start blending slowly and turn it up faster as the pieces get smaller. Stopping every now and then to push the mixture down from the sides with a spatula or spoon.
How to make radish leaf pesto | Ecore

 Step 4. Adjust the mixture to your preferred taste and texture. Add a bit more cumin or salt and pepper etc or blend it longer for a smoother pesto.

Making radish leaf pesto | Ecore

Thanks to all of your ingredient guesses over on Facebook I have loads of new ideas for the next time I get a craving for pesto.
I might try adding in sun dried tomatoes (and Parmesan if my budget allows.)

I encourage you to give this recipe a go and make it your own!
I'd love for you to comment below and tell me what other components you added in!

 

Want to make your own home made crackers to go with the pesto? Try this simple homemade seed cracker recipe from Simone's Plant Based Kitchen.

 

About the author

Sarah Cooper is the founder of Ecore. She is a strong advocate for supporting other local businesses, with a passion for protecting the environment, gardening and helping families reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals.

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