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Homemade radish green pesto goes well with pasta, roasted vegetables, salads, potatoes or as a spread like any other traditional pesto. I had heard about making pesto from radish greens, but I wasn’t too keen on the idea at first. After trying it I have another pesto favorite besides Carrot Green Pesto or my favorite the Cilantro Pesto . Now I plan to prepare and freeze a batch each year, just like we do with basil pesto. And when I think about it, I grew up that no food should go to waste. So we follow the culinary trend and don’t waste vegetables and use as many parts of our plants as possible. A trend that makes perfect sense.
Gardening is hard work too, so don’t let your hard work end up on the compost heap.
Can you eat radish greens?
Yes, radish greens are edible. Because of the somewhat coarse and fibrous texture, they don’t do well in salads unless they are young and small. They can be boiled or fried like any other green. But even there you should give preference to young and tender leaves. The texture of the leaves is why they are perfect for pesto. After they’ve been made into pesto, you won’t notice the rough texture at all.
Another reason to save that gorgeous radish green is that radish greens are a nutritional powerhouse in terms of antioxidants, vitamin C and calcium.
Tips for a perfect radish green pesto
- I highly recommend using radish leaves that are organic or non-sprayed.
- Radish leaves can contain a lot of sand, so you may need to wash them in multiple water changes.
- Because of the slightly hot and peppery taste, I recommend using mild, sweet nuts like almonds, macadamia, or pistachios.
- If you are allergic to nuts, you can use sunflower seeds instead.
- A squeeze of lemon juice in the pesto enhances the taste and brings more freshness.
- If you like garlic, use 3 cloves of garlic instead of 2.
- If you don’t have a food processor or a food processor, you can also make pesto in a blender. You’ll probably have to stop the blender a few times to scrape the ingredients off the sides. However you do it, be careful not to over-mash it. For example, I like pesto best when it’s still a bit coarse and grainy. A blender can easily puree it too fine.
- This recipe is enough to season 4-6 servings of pasta.
- You can easily double the recipe if you have lots of radish leaves on hand and then freeze the leftovers. When freezing pesto, omit the cheese and garlic and add both when you’re ready to serve.
- In addition to a sauce for pasta, a spread can be used on crackers that are toasted as an appetizer, as part of a sandwich topped with goat cheese.
homemade radish green pesto
- Wash the radish greens well, spin dry and chop coarsely.
- Peel the garlic and also roughly chop it.
- Pulse the ingredients in the food processor, stopping to scrape the sides if necessary, until the ingredients are combined into an even paste.
- Add 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil if needed. In the end, a smooth and moist paste should be the result.
- Season to taste with salt and black pepper.