RADISH GREENS PESTO

Posted: May 18, 2021 in Uncategorized

We had an unusually cool spring here in Southern New England, and although my radish plants thrived, the sudden spike in temperature means the end of the radish season. What’s left in my “vedge ledge” garden are lots of radish plants that never formed bulbs…just the tops.

The “Vedge Ledge”


Lots of greens…not many bulbs.

Radish tops are too rough and chewy for salads. But can I save them for something a little more adventurous than simply steaming or sautéing them? The answer is yes: pesto!

I found a few more bulbs along the way.

I harvested all of my radishes, finding a few lovely little bulbs along the way, and washed the greens thoroughly. Then they took a ride in the salad spinner to dry off. I measured out 4 packed cups…giving them a squeeze down into the measuring cup. The rest of the ingredients were pretty standard for pesto, with a few exceptions.

A beautiful bowl of greens.

4 tightly packed cups radish greens, washed

3 cloves garlic, chopped

Juice of 1/2 a juicy lemon

1/2 cup salted pistachios, shelled

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Ready to go for a spin!

Add the radish greens, garlic, lemon juice, pistachios, grated cheese and olive oil to a bowl of a food processor. Run the processor for a minute, then check the pesto.

Scrape down anything that crawled up the sides of the bowl. Give the pesto a taste. Does it have enough salt? Is it too dry? Does it need more olive oil or tartness from the lemon juice? Add what you like to tweak it and make it your own.

Great color!

I’ve found that despite using salted pistachios and grated cheese, it still needed more salt. After all, a little pesto goes a long way, so the flavor needs to be intense.

I’ve made basic pesto using basil and pine nuts, and it’s delicious. I’ve also made pesto with arugula, and I’ll feature that recipe in an upcoming blog. Now I’ve added radish greens to my repertoire, and I’m really glad I did.

A dab of radish greens pesto on top of some sweet Italian sausage is a delicious treat!

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