Pesto is so easy to make, and great with pasta and more. This radish green pesto is no different, it has a lovely sharpness, and is a great way to use those greens in your CSA!
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Pasta with pesto is one of our default quick meals, although I at least always make my own pesto these days rather than buying. I never used to appreciate how quick it was to make but now I do, I can't go back. It definitely tastes better and you can make it in the time it takes to cook the pasta.
I've made a few variations on the classic basil with arugula pesto being one of the ones we have the most (and green bean and oregano pesto a more unusual one) But I recently had a dish at a local restaurant that had radish green pesto in it that had me thinking I should give that a try myself.
I conveniently had received some radishes with greens in our vegetable box earlier in the week so it wasn't too hard to make it happen. And it's tasty too - radish green pesto has a sharper taste than some other pestos but it works well in a variety of things, not just pasta - I gave a recipe coming soon that uses it. Plus this version is vegan too.
I always feel a bit guilty about throwing away the greens from beets, radishes and other vegetables if they come with them attached as I know they have plenty of good nutrients in them and it feels a waste too. Sometimes I add the greens to smoothies - I have found beet greens are particularly good for this as they are relatively mild so don't overpower.
Pestos are also a great way to use any kind of green and to avoid wasting those that have less obvious other uses like radish greens/tops. Most pestos are so quick and easy to make and this radish green pesto is no exception. Simply toast the pine nuts (though you could skip this, I just like the toasted flavor), throw all apart from the oil in the food processor to be chopped up and combined then add the oil to bind it all together.
As I said radish green pesto is a bit sharper and spicier than some pestos, but it's still very tasty. There's no cheese in this pesto as I don't think it really needs it but you could add some if you like. It's just as versatile as any pesto - add it to pasta, spread it in sandwiches or drizzle it on eggs or other dishes, like my steak and egg breakfast skillet.
I find pesto is always great to have on hand and being able to make it from something you might otherwise throw away is even better. Only a few minutes to make, uses what you would otherwise waste and lots of uses - surely a winner in anyone's book.
Looking for other sauces and spreads:
- Tapenade (olive spread/sauce)
- Walnut sauce
- Butternut squash sauce
- Plus get more ideas in the side dishes archives.
Radish green pesto
- 2 oz radish greens 60g, radish tops
- 1 oz pine nuts 30g
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon olive oil virgin or extra virgin
- ½ clove garlic chopped, optional (or use 1 small)
- Remove the tough/thicker stems form the radish greens and was well. Put the leaves in the food processor.
- Gently toast the pine nuts either under the broiler/grill or in a dry skillet/frying pan until lightly browned. Keep a close eye on them as they can turn black very quickly. When they are done, add them to the food processor (and garlic if using) and pulse until the leaves and nuts are finely chopped.
- Add the lemon juice and oil and pulse until mixed. Transfer to a container to store and cover with a thin layer of oil if not using immediately - refrigerate until needed. It will keep for a good week or two.
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