Radish Greens Pesto
Don't throw away your radish leaves!
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.
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)
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.)
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.
I might try adding in sun dried tomatoes (and Parmesan if my budget allows.)
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.
- Sarah Cooper