I abhor food waste. Although I am a huge proponent of composting (using my kitchen scraps to break down into nutritious soil for my garden), not everyone has the space or the land to compost all their vegetables, fruit skins and egg shells. A lot of this waste goes right into the garbage. When I have way too many greens and herbs lying about, I have been known to throw them all into a blender, add a few nuts or seeds, some olive oil, salt and pepper and call it a green sauce, or pesto.
So when I discovered that you can use my radish leaves to make pesto, I was totally intrigued. While these leaves on their own are not particularly edible, they also have thousands of minuscule little prickers. It even hurts pulling the radishes out of the garden. They wouldn’t be particularly good in a salad. But blended into a pesto? Well, that’s another story.
If you are concerned at all about environmental issues then you might have heard of upcycling. For those new to the world of using “whole foods” (not the grocery store, I am talking about using food with all its pieces intact), upcycling foods is a way to prevent food waste and to prevent food from ending up in a landfill. If we can eat it, use it.
Radish greens fit the bill. They also happen to make a delicious, peppery pesto and are full of beneficial nutrients. Radish greens are full of immune boosting vitamin C, calcium and vitamin A.Slice up the radishes and toss those into a salad while you make your pesto and enjoy spring!
Radish Greens Pesto
Makes 1 1/2 cups
4 cups of radish greens, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic
1 lemon,zested and juiced
1/3 cup unsalted pistachios (feel free to use other nuts such as almonds)
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1. In a blender or small food processor add the olive oil with the pistachios. Blend until the nuts are chopped. Add in the greens, garlic, lemon zest and juice, parmesan, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. You might want to add a tablespoon or two of water if the pesto is too thick. Use tossed into whole grains, over whole grain pasta and freeze the rest.