Radish Leaf Pesto Recipe

Radish season is in full swing, and I have been buying a bunch a week since they first appeared a month ago. I very much like radis roses, the pink, elongated ones with a white bottom that look like so many pink mice, but I don’t turn my nose at the red globes, and certainly not at the multicolored bouquets.

I pay attention to the color and vigor of radish leaves: not only are they a telltale sign of freshness, but I intend to eat them, too.

In fact, it is not so much the color or shape of the bulbs I pay attention to when I shop, but the color and vigor of their leaves*: first, because they are a telltale sign of freshness, and second, because I intend to eat them — a habit I’ve taken up in the spirit of frugality, eco-friendliness, and kitchen craftiness.

Radish leaves have a flavor that I would situate somewhere between watercress and nettles, but a few notches milder. The texture of the larger leaves can be a bit rough so they’re not ideal for salads, but they make fine soups and gratins (I add them to my Swiss chard gratin), and they work beautifully in pesto, which is what I make with them most often.

When I get back from the market, I separate the leaves from the bulbs. I refrigerate the latter — radishes should be washed moments before eating — while I rinse and dry the leaves like I do herbs, discarding any that are limp or discolored. I then store them in a container in the fridge until I’m ready to use them — but no longer than a day.

Pink radishes

I prefer to remove the stems, so I simply tear them off, and keep only the leaves, which I put in my mini-chopper (this kit is the handiest appliance I’ve ever bought) and mix with garlic, pistachios, shavings of pecorino, and olive oil.

The recipe below is really just a guide: the concept of pesto as a purée of greens, hard cheese, and nuts, is very forgiving and can be adapted to what you have on hand. You can use more or less cheese, more, fewer, or no nuts at all, add a little lemon peel, which brightens up the whole, and/or throw in other fresh leafy herbs that need using or pruning.

I like to make a thick pesto initially, and thin it out as needed. I have been using this one to dress the bucatini we bought in Rome (I combine the pesto with a little cooking water from the pasta to make an unctuous sauce), to flavor polenta, to line the crust of vegetable tarts, to garnish sandwiches and tartines, to rub a rack of lamb, and to stuff oven-roasted fish. I also have plans to try my hand at potato gnocchi soon, and will likely serve them with radish leaf pesto.

And while we’re on the subject of radishes, I’ll take this opportunity to remind you of my preferred way of eating them: with mashed avocado and smoked salt. I’ve also been slicing them thinly (by hand or in a food processor) and adding them to salads for piquancy and crunch. It was particularly successful in the salad of avocado and purslane (a variety called Clayton de Cuba) below, topped with a multigrain cracker, itself spread with radish leaf pesto and very good prosciutto.

Radish Avocado Salad

* In French, a leaf is une feuille, but there is another word, une fane, for the leaves of certain plants that are cultivated chiefly for another part, such as carrots and radishes. Radish leaves are thus referred to as fanes de radis.

Radish Leaf Pesto Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Makes one small jar.

Radish Leaf Pesto Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 large handfuls of good-looking radish leaves, stems removed
  • 30 grams (1 ounce) hard cheese, such as pecorino or parmesan, grated or shaved using a vegetable peeler
  • 30 grams (1 ounce) nuts, such as pistachios, almonds, or pinenuts (avoid walnuts, which make the end result too bitter in my opinion)
  • 1 clove garlic, germ removed, cut in four
  • a short ribbon of lemon zest cut thinly from an organic lemon with a vegetable peeler (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to get the consistency you like
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ground chili pepper

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender or mini-chopper, and process in short pulses until smooth. You will likely have to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. This produces a thick pesto; add more oil and pulse again to get the consistency you prefer. (This can also be done with a mortar and pestle; it's great for your karma and your triceps.)
  2. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and pack into an airtight container -- I use a repurposed glass jar.

Notes

Use within a few days (it will keep longer if you pour a thin layer of oil on the surface) or freeze.

http://chocolateandzucchini.com/recipes/dips-spreads/radish-leaf-pesto-recipe/

  • http://www.faites-simple.blogspot.com/ Eliane

    Coincidence – just got back from veg patch with handful of radishes. I’ve never tried eating the leaves before – you have inspired me to.

  • Jill

    Does anyone eat radishes with butter?

    I have a vague memory of a teenage exchange visit to France when I was a teenager and the grandfather of the family I stayed with eating his raw radishes with some unsalted butter.

    I’m sure my son would eat radishes with butter – he’d eat anything as long as it had butter with it, but is this a common habit in France?

    • Molly

      I was also an exchange student in France, and my host mom used to eat radishes on a baguette.

      • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

        Oh, the food experiences one has on foreign exchange programs! My big food memory from England is cheese and pickle sandwiches. :)

  • Hanneke

    this I have GOT to try. We buy every week 2 bunches but I don’t use the leaves…. stupid…. BUT now I know what to do with them, thanks!!! Sometimes life can be so simple…and fantastic!

  • http://www.cookincanuck.com Cookin’ Canuck

    Who knew?! I had no idea that radish leaves were edible. I have been buying radishes by the armful, but it never occurred to me to use the leaves. Thank you!

  • http://beyondthewindow.wordpress.com beyond

    i have the same immersion blender, mini-chopper set, it’s fantastic and i’ve been using it for years.
    radish leaves? looks and sounds delicious. i have to try that.

  • http://shewhoeats.blogspot.com/ chika

    Hello Clotilde,

    Oh this is another genius idea! We’d eat daikon radish tops if they are fresh, but I just never thought about eating those of tiny red/pink radishes… will definitely give it a shot if/when I can get a fresh bunch! Cheers :)

  • http://tribecayummymummy-cate.blogspot.com/ cate

    ohhhh! that’s what you do with the leaves. now i don’t have t return them in a big clump to the greenmarket’s composting collection. cannot WAIT to try this recipe.

  • http://arugulove.wordpress.com arugulove

    What a brilliant idea. I love making pestos out of weird greens, so I’ll definitely be trying this soon!

  • Grizzly Bear Mom

    Brava for finding food use for an item that is normally discarded. I try to eat all of whatever I purchase. For example, I eat all the entire inside of squashs (seeds, stringy stuff, etc. It just seems logical to eat the seeds which is where the energy for plant growth is stored. Berries’ seeds are supposed to be what make the super foods, right? I make soup from kale stems, etc. I figure if it is too chewy, I can just remove the offending item. So far there haven’t been any. I encourage others to experiment.) Yes my soups and other foods are more chewy. No I wouldn’t recommend using stings and seeds in pumpkin pie or other items where texture is essential. I find the more chewy consistency superior in satisfying my appetite. I also use differnet nuts in pesto, and make mine without oil, to reduce calories and fat. I anticipate seeing more green and healthy more recipies of this type on your blog.

  • http://www.palatetopen.com Jen

    The “pink mice” mention is an adorable association that is stuck in my mind now. Lovely recipe!

  • http://croquecamille.wordpress.com Camille

    I had no idea you could eat radish tops. Thanks for the tip!

    I made a clean-out-the-fridge pesto last week with peas, mint, and parsley. It was a huge hit!

  • http://citygirllifestyle.blogspot.com City Girl

    This looks fantastic – and I have to add that your poiscamole is now very much a favorite for my husband and I – I am going to try making it with sunflower seed butter next time, just to see how that turns out :)

  • http://www.kitchencaravan.com/blog Hartley from Kitchen Caravan

    I love experimenting with different variations of pesto. One of my favorites is this Kale and Pumpkin Seed Pesto but I can’t wait to try this one out!

  • http://design-smith.blogspot.com/ design_SMITH

    Ah, I just got my CSA box yesterday and was deciding what to do with the easter egg radish tops… I will make radish leaf pesto with almonds! Now any suggestions for the beat tops or the chard?

    (I have the same mini-chopper set and I talk it up to EVERYONE. One of the first and most useful kitchen gadgets you can buy.)

  • Adrianne

    You know, Jill – that’s funny – my best friend threw me a Parisienne Personal Shower when I was getting married last year, and she decorated the tables with a bowl of salt, laid with a bunch of radishes and a small small ramekin of unsalted butter. I ate a couple buttered radishes for her, which seemed to make her quite pleased. It was actually very good – and I think it was a suggestion in the bistro menu she made. But, like your son, I also enjoy pretty much anything slathered in butter.

  • http://smallkitchenbigideas.wordpress.com Sara

    I love to do variations on pesto and this one sounds delicious!

  • http://www.notderbypie.com Rivka

    *sigh — thank you so much for posting this! I’ve got lots-o-radish leaves in the fridge and have been wondering how to avoid wasting them — this pesto is a perfect solution!

  • http://wiegottindeutschland.blogspot.com Véronique

    I usually keep the leaves to make soups, but never thought about making pesto with them. Thank you for the idea!

  • dory

    I loooove this idea! I have always thrown away radish leaves. I have never even tasted them, although I do cook and eat beet greens which most people throw away. I am going to try radish leaves soon.

    Dory

  • http://trattoriascorpacciata.blogspot.com/2009/05/dandelion-pesto.html seth

    This sounds much better than the dandelion green pesto I recently made. Too bitter, but healthy. Cilantro pesto is good, though.

  • http://skewersandscarves.wordpress.com/ Laura

    Thank you so much for a radish leaf vehicle! I am tempted by the red globes, always appearing before other similarly bright fruits at my market, but feel guilty for wasting or simply composting such vibrant, spicy leaves.

    I would also add that, as an alternative to lemon, you can brighten it up with a few leaves of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) and just one of mint, like I did. Lovely – and no need for lemons to travel using fossil fuels to brighten the dish!

  • TikiPundit

    This sounds intriguing and the first thing I thought of after reading it, because I pulled weeds last weekend, was dandelion leaf pesto.

  • http://danamccauley.wordpress.com Dana McCauley

    I just planted my radish seeds on Sunday so it will be several weeks before I have any greens or radishes to harvest.

    I think I’ll save this idea for when I do have foliage though. It’s a good one!

    I’ve often made pesto from arugula which is equally pungent and peppery but I never thought to use radish greens. Very inspiring!

  • http://www.unconfidentialcook.com unconfidentialcook

    Thanks so much–we don’t eat radishes nearly enough.

  • http://coupleofvegans.blogspot.com Jodye

    Your pesto looks delicious; I simply must make it!

  • Anna

    Gnocchi! I’ve tried it a while ago, but it was terrible, so I hope you will post about your experiment and can give me tips!

  • http://www.starrybluesky.wordpress.com Rhiannon

    Very inventive – must admit I am another of those who doesn’t eat the raddish greens but will be trying this out now !

  • http://easydoesitrecipes.blogspot.com/ Chris

    Fab idea! my mum used to make a gorgeous soup with radish leaves, they are very underrated!

  • Tamsin

    Oh Clotilde how could you! What’s my poor house rabbit going to have left to eat when you keep coming up with delicious recipes for all the tasty trimmings!

    I always use the potato gnocchi recipe from the Italian Cucchiaio d’Argento cookbook – I only have the original Italian version but I’m sure it would be in the English translation (The Silver Spoon – published by Phaidon) or the French (La Cuillère d’argent – published by Relié). They turn out perfectly every time, especially if you make them quite small.

  • Schlake

    I’d never thought to eat them. I made a stir fry for my guests last night, and radishes had appeared in my CSA box, so I tossed the greens into the the stir fry along with the bok choy. It turned out well.

  • http://chewonthatblog.com Hillary

    I think it’s fantastic that you used every part of the radish plant. It’s a testament to not being wasteful!

  • Brenda

    Great. The ones I bought from the
    farmers market yesterday I just
    could not bear to throw out as they
    were so fresh. I’ll try this for
    lunch!!

  • http://bitchinlifestyle.tv Dallas from Bitchin’ Kitchen

    I really admire your efforts to be more eco-conscious. I am really getting into beet greens. You inspired me when you posted about that a while ago, probably over a year now. I actually had a Ukrainian dish (sorry, the name escapes me) of crispy bread stuffed with sauerkraut and wrapped in beet leaves over the weekend. It was divine, and I never would have thought of it myself.

    So your idea of a radish leaf pesto has really given me the extra push I need to start thinking of other ways leaves and greens can be used, and not thrown out.

  • http://www.thethriftygourmet.com The Thirfty Gourmet

    Great tip! I’m always looking for ways to use ends, trimmings and scraps. I’ll be sure to give this pesto a try the next time I buy radishes.

  • http://nami-nami.blogspot.com Pille Petersoo

    Radish leaves seem to be ‘in’ at the moment – Nicky of Delicious Days blogged about radish leaf pesto few weeks ago, and now you. I better head to the market :)

  • http://www.mostlyeating.com Sophie

    Ah, lovely, I’ve planted way more radish than two people need so it’s nice to have a plan to use the whole plant

  • http://www.foodcreate.com Allen

    My mother is German and she ate radishes all the time. They do not seem to be as popular here in the United States. I, however, like them and will try this highly inventive recipe. Thank you.

  • Caroline

    What a great idea! I’ve always eaten radishes (the Korean kind) and their leaves as kimchi. It never occured to me to do the same with the little red ones! My mum sometimes uses the radish leaves as substitute for spinach, or cooks them with Korean fermeted soybean paste (sorta like Japanese miso, but much more pungent) in a soup which is also delicious.

  • http://www.tomatokumato.com emiglia

    Thanks for the French lesson (I didn’t know the word fane) and also for the tip! I’m really excited to try this soon.

  • http://www.mixingbowlkids.ca Mixing Bowl Mama

    This sounds great. We grow something here in Canada called Ramps which are wild leeks. I made a pesto last night of ramps, pecans, arugula, olive oil, parmesan, salt and pepper and served it to my kids for lunch today with some angel hair pasta. Delicious! I think I’ll give you version a try after I hit the farmer’s market tomorrow.

  • http://hopedoesnotdisappoint.blogspot.com Megs

    Thank you for posting this! A friend and i tried it last night: my post on the recipe
    It was delicious!

  • msue

    Include me amongst those who love radishes but never thought of using the leaves! We add radishes to garden salads whenever possible. I can’t wait to try using those leaves now – mmm pesto! Thanks for the idea :)

  • http://www.eatwellathome.blogspot.com jennifer

    What a great idea!

    I have a gazillion dandelion leaves (I was planning a salad, but they are too tough/mature), do you think they would work in a pesto? I may just have to give it a try..

  • http://mortadifame.blogspot.com Morta Di Fame

    WOW! Great idea. Wish I knew about this a few days ago. Can’t wait to try!

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Jill – Yes, perhaps the most classic way to eat radishes in France is to dip them in salt, smear them with a little butter, and eat them with some bread.

    Megs – So glad it turned out to your liking; thanks for reporting back!

    Jennifer – I’m sure this would work well with dandelion leaves, too. Seth noted in the comments above that his was a bit bitter, but pistachios are pretty good at alleviating bitterness.

  • http://firefliesofhope.com Gwendolyn

    Who would o’ thunk! Radish leaves. I’m going to try it.

  • http://www.achowlife.blogspot.com redmenace

    Who would’ve thought? Thanks! I LOVE pesto and bitter greens. Great combo!

  • http://www.growninfrederick.blogspot.com Shannon

    I tried the radish leaf pesto and it was amazing. I made the pesto with walnuts, lemon mosto olive oil, and a local cow-goat cheddar. The flavors melded perfectly and took the bitterness out of the greens. Thanks!

  • http://www.abigailblake.com/sugarapple SugarApple

    I wish our radishes came with the greens still attached but unfortunately they come in sad little plastic bags, no leaves.

  • http://eatingisforfood.blogspot.com Lydia

    I have used successfully used mustard greens and turnip greens in addition to radish and arugula to make pesto and pesto-like sauces. Very yummy and easy way to use up an abundance of spicy greens! Especially good with sunflower seeds in place of nuts!

  • http://www.epicures.wordpress.com Michael

    Inspired by you, I saved the good leaves of the bunch of radishes I gathered in our garden this morning. I simply puréed them with a bit of olive oil, nothing else, in the minichooper and served it as a green sauce with grilled sausages for lunch. Excellent.

  • http://read-n-eat.com/ Lorrie

    I am getting off my couch, heading to the farmer’s market this very minute! I cannot wait to try this–especially with prosciutto. I never would have given radish leaves a second thought.
    Lorrie

  • http://balancefood.blogspot.com Chou

    Oh what a wonderful thing to do. My four little radishes are going to hate me this year!

  • http://libertylondongirl.blogspot.com/2009/05/california-eating.html Liberty London Girl

    Gosh how wonderful! I bought some radishes at the San Francisco farmers mkt last weekend. Actually just about to past some images of them. And I am so going to make this. LLGxx

  • Aska

    we eat raddish leaves in Japan as well, my favorite is miso soup with the raddish leaves. Also those leaves are richer in acidfolic than the raddish itself;)

  • http://trattoriascorpacciata.blogspot.com/ seth

    I’ll try dandelion/pistachio this weekend. The one thing i forgot to mention with dandelion pesto is the leaves i am using are pretty big/tough (hence the bitterness) which makes it really hard on the food processor i’m using — used something like 2c of olive oil to get it to work. pre-chopping would help.

  • Sascha Bush

    This looks delicious, and i love pesto, so I can’t wait to try this. I love experimenting with my pestos. I found another great take on pesto made with spinach leaves rather than basil.
    All great ideas, thanks!

  • http://beckyandthebeanstock.com Becky and the Beanstock

    I’m so glad you posted this — I’ve been trying to figure out if radish leaves are edible. Mostly by biting into them now and then, but honestly, they hadn’t inspired me. I think this pesto will be just about perfect for using them up, especially with the creaminess added by the nuts and the liveliness imbued by lemon zest.

    I know radishes are nutritional powerhouses — any idea what we get from the leaves?

    I’ve been eating radishes on crostini with avocado and smoked salt for years — even posted about it about a year ago. I thought I’d invented it. :)

  • http://www.wcs4.blogspot.com Walt

    Clotilde,

    I’ve been following your blog for years, and I recently saw you on tv with Josée Di Stasio. Such fun!

    I grew radishes in my garden this year and when I saw your pesto recipe I just had to try it.

    It was “fane”-tastic! Thanks!

  • http://stellarcarrot.com Russell

    This is convenient, as my radishes usually come up all tops :-)

    As far as eating radishes, I grew up (in Ohio) eating radish sandwiches: bread slathered with butter (well, margarine) with radishes and salt in between. Hmmm… that sounds awfully good right now.

  • http://destination-ecuador.net Jeff Stern

    I had never heard of anything like this before. It’s great to see an ingredient that most people would probably just toss out made into something really delicious.

  • CW

    This was good! I used a splash of vinegar since I’m out of lemons. Still tasted great. Thanks!

  • http://trattoriascorpacciata.blogspot.com/ seth

    Pistachios make a huge difference in cutting the dandelion bitterness. Thanks for the tip.

  • http://www.thegardenerskitchen.blogspot.com/ Louise Everett

    Looking forward to trying this one out, I’d never thought to use the greens for pesto although I love them in salads and cooked. In fact when I’ve got them in my garden I like to raid the leaves bit by bit before I pick the radish, they’re pretty forgiving in that way.
    The other radish thing I really like is making radish tzatziki, particularly with the round ones because it makes a lovely, spicy dip and goes really well with roast lamb.

  • http://www.wickedtastyharvest.com April

    I tried it this weekend. I made slightly different proportions and with fresh garlic (yum!). I loved it! It’s my new favorite, and my family’s, too. I’ll make it as long as we get good vibrant greens. So tasty.

  • Sooze

    To the commentor who asked about radishes and salt and butter…OUI! This comes to me from a friend whose aunt lived in France and gave her this treat. I have made wonderful appetizers based on this: a slice of toasted bread, sweet butter, slices of radish, sea salt, cut to “appetizer” size. So good with champagne or white wine. I understand that in France currently, some bars serve big bowls of radishes with the drinks! Salud!

  • Deirdre

    Thank you for this! We eat a lot of radishes, and I’m so glad to have something to do with the leaves. I appreciate that the leaves are moister, I think, than basil, so this seems to need a lot less oil than I usually add to a basil pesto. Of course this isn’t quite as heady as the basil pesto, but it’s a treat nevertheless!

  • http://www.sweetamandine.com Jess

    Perfect timing with this recipe, Clotilde. We just received several bunches of gorgeous radishes in our farm-share box, and now I know just what to do with the leaves. Thank you!

  • Julia Loyd

    I planted daikon because they’re fairly resistant to slugs. This morning, I picked about two cups of the biggest leaves, a catnip tip, and one cup of sage leaves. Without stemming them, I blended them with a small handful of pine nuts, a vigorous shake of olive oil, a garlic clove, and a wedge from a navel orange. We had that for lunch on rye crackers.

  • Crissy

    just made a batch and mixed it with soba noodles, tomatoes, cucumbers & swidd chard. all ingredients from the farmer’s market, except the noodles! ^_^ love the ‘no waste’ recipes!! thanks!!

  • Marina

    Tried this and found it a little more bitter than I’d like. I ended up having to mix the pesto with cream cheese to make it palatable. I used pine nuts instead of pistachios — perhaps that was the difference? I did notice that the radish greens seemed rough and prickly (they were organic — not sure what difference that makes). I’ll look for a bunch with softer, smaller leaves next time.

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Marina – As you surmised, the flavor and strength of the radish leaves will depend on the variety of radish, as well as the “age” of the bunch (and probably how early or late in the season it is). Because pistachios have an inherently sweet flavor, they’re good at masking any trace of bitterness in the leaves, but it’s best to start with tender ones to begin with.

  • Stephanie

    YUM! My radishes have been growing out of control (lots of rain!), so many of the leaves were too prickly to use. But I used what I could (stems were great!), added the tops of turnips that came in my CSA box, garlic scapes, a few lemon balm leaves, and a lot of pistachios (and olive oil, of course). In a very unusual turn of events for me, I even skipped the cheese! The garlic scapes were quite pungent, so I snipped some curly parsley and added that in, too.

    On rye crackers, on rice crackers, on slices of sweet turnips, on fresh mozzarella… Oh the places you will go.

  • Dominique

    Great idea in the name of frugality, i really enjoyed making & eating this! I am going to be controversial and say that i made it with walnuts to what i think was great success. I did also add the juice and zest of a medium sized lemon and a heaped teaspoon of sugar. I ate it on sliced walnut rye bread & the nutty bread and sharp pesto complimented each other really well.
    Congrats on a lovely blog that has become a daily read for me!

  • http://spoiledonlychild.typepad.com spoiledonlychild

    Didn’t read the comments, and just made my pesto with prickly radish leaves and pine nuts. The little taste I had was not good, so bitter and felt like it was pricking my tongue. Any suggestions to cut the bitterness? I don’t want to have to throw it away.

  • http://spoiledonlychild.typepad.com spoiledonlychild

    I fixed my bitter pesto! In case anyone else has a problem with it coming out too bitter, here’s what I did. Since I used pine nuts in the original batch, I ground up some pistachios with zest of a whole lemon and a tsp of sugar in the food processor, then mixed that into my bitter pesto. Took the bitterness right out. Just to be safe, I heated it up with a bit of half and half before dressing the pasta to smooth out the flavor even more. Mixed in some homemade sundried tomatoes as well. Delicious.

  • http://cookitaly.com cookitaly

    I wonder, what about Nasturtium leaves? Mixed with some other leaf or they’d be too powerful?

  • Lois

    What are the nutritional value? Does anyone know?

  • http://megzimbeck.com Meg

    I tried this last night and it was so tasty! I used walnuts and walnut oil since that’s what I had on hand and it worked well. There was no bitterness as described in some of the other comments, but I think perhaps I got lucky with some really fresh radishes. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Mel

    The bitterness of the pesto is most likely due to putting olive oil through a blender, which releases polyphenols. Use a different oil in the pesto when blending and then add olive oil in the end and mix by hand rather than chop it. (See sources.)

  • gotcag

    This is a wonderful recipe. Try 1 tbsp of peanutbutter instead of nuts…I did, it’s great!
    Thanks for the recipe

  • http://thislittlegreenbook.blogspot.com/ oni

    This is fantastic, the flavour is lovely. I’ve recently found a smashing recipe for a Fennel Pesto, which is well worth trying. Enjoy! Oni

  • http://craftyllama.wordpress.com/ Sarah

    I finally tried out making this pesto this week Clotilde, and it is wonderful! I made mine with Almonds and it turned out wonderfully. I’ve been thinning it out each day and adding to a salad of shredded raw savoy cabbage and fennel bulb. Thank you for the idea! I’ll be doing this all the time with my radish leaves from now on.
    Kind regards,
    Sarah

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Delighted to hear it, Sarah, thanks for letting me know!

  • apple

    Merci!
    c’est très bon : )

  • Lisa

    Just made the pesto with some almonds. A spicy delight. I live in France and just bought some radishes, and thought to myself, “these leaves are gorgeous”. I was able to make a salad for 4 and the pesto. I came online to double check that I could indeed eat them–so thank you. My 5 year old and 2.5 year old gobbled up the salad and we’re going to have the pesto for apperitif tomorrow’s lunch. Merci encore et joyeuse paques a tous!

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I’m very pleased to hear it, Lisa, thank you!

  • http://rivertreekitchen.com Nancy

    I just planted radishes before I read this post; now I can’t wait for them to come up so I can try this pesto. Has anyone tried adding some parsley to the radish greens? I do this a lot with basil pesto, to great effect.

  • http://blog.jfyelle.com Jean-Francois

    Bonjour Clotilde,

    I was looking to do something interesting to our radish leaves and found your recipe. I added some lime basil leaves I had on hand. It turned out extremely well! I served on fusillis with sausage and sundried tomatoes.

    Grands mercis!

  • http://fiberfetish-courtney.blogspot.com/ Courtney

    Yumm!! I had a ton of radish seedlings that I thinned and made this with almonds. So good! Really appreciate the recipe.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Happy it turned out well for you, Courtney, thanks for reporting back!

  • F David Bower

    Hi Clotilde.

    I am about to make this with the leaves of a gigantic daikon radish* that came up in my veg patch without invitation. Thanks 80+ year old neighbour lady! Also you, passing bird who shat in my patch! She’s also provided – thanks to some shoddy fencing contractors – asparagus and raspberries.

    Anyway, the leaves are considerably spikier and more fibrous than those of a euro-radish, and somewhat less piquant, so I’m crossing my fingers a bit.

    I’ll return with the verdict.

    *I’m making takuan with the root itself, I need hardly add. Which (though as a first-time site visitor I’m unsure whether to say this) was cartoonishly phallic and too big to fit my large, manly hand around.

  • Yevette Lee

    I bought baby daikon radish leaves 3 for $1 at our asian market and needed to use them up! I tried the traditional chinese way of stir frying them, but found them pretty bitter. I was going to throw away the rest becasue the recipies I found online seemed to be for the milder pink radish leaves, but I gave this recipe a try tonight and have to say its so delicious. I made it thick as you suggested and over processed the leaves, but I love the result. I confess to adding a pinch of sugar because I feared bitter pesto, but I don’t think it was necessary. I’m eating it now mixed with quinoa. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Thanks for reporting back, Yevette!

  • Susan

    My husband just brought some radish greens in from the garden and I went Googling for recipes and found this! I had pine nuts in the freezer (next to the pistachios which I might try next time), grated Romano and chopped garlic in the fridge, and olive oil in the pantry. I cut the amounts as I only had a handful of leaves, sort of slapping and dashing as I went, but I have yet to have bad pesto by eyeballing. Thing is, the radish leaves gave it a spicy, peppery kick that I now love. The basil in the garden is dying (dunno why!) but I’ve got greens of all sorts going crazy that I’d not thought to make into this most lucious of spreads. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • mattsmom

    I just made this today, with pistachios for the nuts, and it is incredible. I was dreading discarding the radish tops from my CSA (community support agriculture) share and this was the perfect recipe for the radish tops!

  • Ericasmommie

    I did this today (used the first spring radishes from our garden, ground almonds, shredded romano) and it was very good, and invigorating rather than bitter. Even my daughter who hates greens liked this stuff. This one’s definitely a keeper, and next time I’ll have to grow some radishes just for the tops!

  • sanjeegoonetilake

    Thanks a lot for this tip. I also use “Cauliflower leaves (delicious as a stir fry),beet leaves, and young shoots of passion fruit leaves which are finely cut in a stir fry mixed with other leaves. It has a strong passion fruit flavour.In Sri Lanka where I come from, we also eat green banana (like a potatoe), stir fried banana peel and the most delicious delicacy is the banana flower). I will see if I find the time to write down the Banana flower recipe.

  • http://iamcorbin.net Corbin

    Yum! I just grew radishes from seed for the first time and harvested them yesterday, I used this recipe and it is amazing! We are eating it on turkey sandwiches with fresh tomato and lettuce from the local farmers market. Probably make some pasta for dinner to put it on later too. Thanks a lot!

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Happy to hear it, thanks for reporting back!

  • http://lifeinaskillet.com/2012/11/radish_pesto/ Maggie

    I made a version of this, doubling the garlic and adding carrot greens. It’s wonderful! We’ve put in on pizza and crostinis so far . . .
    Cheers,
    Maggie

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Happy to hear it, thanks for reporting back!

  • J.S. Renau

    A neighbor gave me some radishes from her garden and pecans from the tree next door, so I made this pesto. It was delicious. Thanks for the tips! Best, JSR

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      So pleased to read this, JS, thank you. Pecans from the tree next door! Now you have me dreaming… :)

  • Bret

    Great recipe! I raised icicle radishes from seeds to huge plants that had NO radishes :(! But this saved the day!

  • Monique

    Hi Clotilde, ages after reading this recipe for the first time I finally got around to making it and it was a great success! Very easy to make and the flavour is lovely. What is great about this recipe is that it solves two problems at once: first, I don’t have to throw the radish leaves away so no waste; and secondly, what usually keeps me from making fresh pesto is the fact that fresh basil (and other herbs) is only available in tiny overpriced bunches in the supermarket, so this is a much more economic alternative. Thanks!

  • http://bankruptcytips.jimdo.com/ How to reduce debt in San Antonio

    I didn’t know radish leaves can make the most delicious pesto sauce. I won’t ever discard them again.

  • efairchild

    Regarding walnuts making your pesto bitter, I have not found this to be the case when using newly harvested walnuts in October when they are still moist. Best wishes, eric

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

      Thanks for mentioning this — I agree with you. I think walnuts can make pesto bitter when they’ve gotten a touch rancid, which happens with age.

  • Eric Wright

    This is heavenly! I was searching for a pesto recipe, and this one screamed my name. It blew everyone away.

    Eric

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