So, last Saturday was all about strawberries, and last Sunday was all about radishes as I harvested my French Breakfast radishes (my first harvest ever in fact).

Radishes 2Radishes 3Radishes 4Radishes 1

Having grown these myself, I wanted to use both the greens as well as the bulb.  I did something rather simple with the radishes themselves:  what I understand is the classical French way to enjoy them, with butter, salt, and french bread:

Radishes served French style

  As you can see, not all that many, but enough for me and Mike.  I’m not a huge radish fan, but I do like the more mild French Breakfast variety.  (Are they meant to be eaten at breakfast?  Not for me).  I really decided to grow radishes because I’m new at gardening and they are supposed to be very fast and very easy.  I know this from my father, who used to stealth garden radishes around town (as he called it).

As for the greens:  I had seen a recipe on Chocolate and Zucchini for a radish leaf pesto a little while ago, and filed it away for the time of harvest.  I wasn’t sure how good it would be:  even though Clothilde’s recipes are always excellent, I did wonder how good anything with radish leaves would be when frankly, they are not grown for their leaves.

Radish leaves are surprisingly, rather rough on their underside.  They are just as pungent as you would expect, given what radishes taste like, and I wouldn’t eat them straight.  But to my surprise, the pesto was really delicious!  The baguette not used to accompany the radishes thus found a use as the “palette” for the lovely pesto.  There wasn’t much–I only had one bunch of radish leaves so halved the recipe, which was very easy to do.  It therefore went pretty fast.  I’ve resown radishes so in about a month’s time I can do a repeat of this little meal.  (Or before, after the farmer’s market, it’s the farmer’s market).  Perhaps by then I will even have some new ideas for radish leaves!

Radish pestoRadish pesto on bread

Radish Leaf Pesto (Adapted from Chocolate and Zucchini)

  •  2 large handfuls of fresh radish leaves, stems removed
  •  30 grams (1 ounce) grated or shaved parmesan or pecorino
  •  30 grams (1 ounce) almonds or other nuts
  •  1 clove garlic,  cut in four
  •  a short ribbon of lemon zest (avoid including the white pith) 
  •  2 tablespoons olive oil (or more as needed)
  •  salt, pepper, ground chili pepper

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.)

Taste, adjust the seasoning, and pack into an airtight container.  Refridgerate and use within a few days (it will keep longer if you pour a thin layer of oil on the surface) or freeze.

Radish pesto (half batch)


7 thoughts on “Radishes!

  1. I never would have thought of using radish greens. I am not a huge fan of radishes either, but the pesto looks so good I might have to grow them just for that!

  2. Hey what a great idea! Did you vary the seasonings? (No idea what turnip greens are like–I’m guessing more mild than radishes only because of the taste of the turnip, but I don’t really know).

    I wish I had thought to do that with the salad turnip greens from last week’s CSA–they are sadly wilted now, but I am hoping to slice up the turnips for to add a crunch to tomorrow’s chicken sandwich lunch! (Maybe now that I’ve publicly posted it, I’ll remember).

  3. I kind of made the pesto “off the cuff”. We used basil, walnuts, olive oil and some asiago cheese. Nothing got measured, just went by taste. I should have added garlic, just didn’t think of it. There was a slightly bitter taste that seemed to lessen as the pesto sat. I think a bit more basil would have taken care of that, I just didn’t have any more! We tend to like a bitter taste, so it didn’t bother us. Also, the garlic would have taken care of that.

    I am so glad you put up the post on the radish greens, because now it’s got us thinking about all kinds of pesto. My husband wants to try it with horseradish leaves. I was telling a friend about it and she said they use lambs quarter (considered a weed) for pesto.

  4. Pingback: Food Tag | Three Clever Sisters

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