One of the sure signs of summer at our house is when a batch of fresh pesto and a straight-from-the-oven crusty baguette constitutes an acceptable substitute for a complete meal. Forget the perfectly grilled steak or the sweet corn (or maybe don’t forget them as much as save them for another night and smother them with the leftover pesto). This is the kind of no fuss cooking that is perfect for summer evenings.
As the first radishes have started to come out of the garden, I’ve been looking for something to do with the greens. Radish greens are edible and super nutritious, so it feels like a waste to just throw them in the compost bin, but usually the recipes you’ll see call for cooking them. I am not a cooked greens kind of girl. No matter how much I tell myself they’re good (and good for me), I just can’t get on board (it’s a texture thing). I much prefer my greens in their uncooked form. Enter the inspiration to try them in a pesto.
Pesto is one of those things that is completely versatile. Don’t have fresh basil on hand? Try pea shoots, kale, or even broccoli (yes, these are all on my list to try this summer!). You can add any kind of nut and fresh herbs that will complement the flavors, throw in some garlic, olive oil, and hard cheese, and you’ve got something truly delicious that requires little more skill than knowing how to operate a food processor.
The radish greens make a very pleasant tasting pesto! They are not particularly bitter; a better description would be to say that they are slightly peppery. Be sure to use very fresh, unblemished greens. Right from the garden is best, but if that’s not an option and you do need to store them for short time before making the pesto, soaking the greens in cold water for 30 to 60 minutes before storing in the refrigerator will help with the crispness.
Go ahead, make a batch, grab some bread, and call it dinner. I won’t judge.
Radish Leaf Pesto
1 cup fresh radish leaves, packed
1-2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil (add more for a smoother pesto)
salt and pepper (optional)
Wash radish leaves, remove stems, and pat dry with a clean towel. In a food processor, pulse the garlic and almonds a few times until minced. Add radish leaves and cheese and pulse a few times to break down the leaves. With the food processor running, add the olive oil until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, according to taste
- These pages are dedicated to all things home gardening. From planning a garden to preserving the harvest, you'll find practical and creative ideas to satisfy your sense of garden adventure!
- tomatoes recipes peppers seed starting seasons 12 Weeks of Garden Inspiration Grow It Forward heirloom preservation garden planning broccoli yard projects garden projects garden plans seeds photo post herbs radishes beans onions rhubarb seed Salsa Week community garden raspberries spring tomatillo lettuce winter varieties fall Garden Planning 101 seed saving spinach basil planting garlic soil canning dry beans beets A Seed Starting Diary asparagus kohlrabi vertical gardening scallions beneficial insects mint pumpkin flowers garden strawberries Three Sisters indoor gardening transplanting variegated tomato house projects seed starting mix seed starting containers gardening with kids organic gardening fall garden pollinators horseradish garden harvest totals watermelon Good Garden Reads resources jelly frost Black Hungarian giveaways apples corn cucumber kale potting up carrots seedling care Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds oregano John Denver mojito container gardening disease pests organic love yellow pear trellising rapsberries winter sowing Extending the Season guest post printable seed packet starter pots seed starting timeline patty pan squash horseradish root shallots brussels sprouts compost jam Grow It Forwards dividing rhubarb plant markers peat coir Building Better Soil soil blocks soil blocker sage brassicas cabbage squirrels peanuts Anna Russian Tomato sunflowers garden clean up Amish Paste Opalka Federle Big Mama litchi tomato garden musings garden beds snow social media Red Romaine Lettuce birthday squash Holiday Gift Guide paste tomatoes San Marzano litchi tomatoes garden pests salsa peas pepper mesclun zucchini watering Year in Review garden inspiration pickling onion garden organizataion quinoa amaranth tomato blight mulch