This pesto is made from radish greens rather than the more traditional basil. The peppery radish greens offer a spiciness that will wow your tastebuds!
Radishes are one of the fastest growing crops a gardener can plant. If you’re aching to have something – anything – that you grew yourself on the dinner table, radishes are a good starting place.
Plant radishes as soon as your ground can be worked, and they’ll be ready in just 3-4 weeks. You can plant radishes all summer long, and even into cooler autumn weather. Just plant a new row every couple of weeks and you’ll have radishes and radish greens ready to harvest all season long.
Edible radish greens
Don’t stop at eating the rosy roots, though. Radish leaves are edible too. But while radish greens are edible, they’re not particularly palatable eaten out of hand. They’re a bit prickly, so not a great addition to a salad. They’re better if they’re processed a bit to remove the coarseness of the leaves.
My colleague, April Paffrath, shared a recipe for radish leaf pesto at Wicked Tasty Harvest and I’ve been hooked ever since. Spicier than pesto made with basil leaves, radish leaf pesto is a fabulous way to stretch the harvest from an early spring garden.
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Related: Fermented radishes and turnips
The radish greens in this pesto have a tendency to maintain their bright green hue without discoloring like traditional pesto does, so it’s a nice bet for a pretty springtime appetizer. If you know me at all, you know that I didn’t make this without modifying April’s recipe just a bit. My version is below.
I serve it over pasta, and my kids love to spread it on crackers or in mozzarella grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s a nice, flavorful addition to your favorite panini sandwich, too.
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- 3 cups Radish greens , about two bunches
- 2 big cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup shredded pecorino romano cheese
- small handful of fresh cilantro leaves, optional
- pinch sea salt
- Thoroughly wash and dry radish greens.
- Remove woody stems and put in blender or food processor with remaining ingredients.
- Blend until smooth. Easy, peasy.
Serve this radish greens pesto over pasta, spread it on crackers, or slather it inside mozzarella grilled cheese sandwiches. It's a nice, flavorful addition to your favorite panini sandwich, too.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 0.25 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 101Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 67mgCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 4g
Originally published in March 2015.