It can feel like such a waste to throw away the large, lush leaves of a radish. As it turns out, they are entirely edible and work well in a large number of dishes. They have a strong taste and are packed with health benefits. They are rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and C.
The radish greens have quite a bitter taste (somewhat similar to rocket) and thus the pesto itself is slightly bitter. Add more parmesan, cashews and/or oil to this recipe in order to reduce the bitterness.
The pesto makes a delicious substitute for normal basil pesto. We enjoyed it on crackers with cheese, in salads and also on radish and tomato slices as a tasty entree.
Be careful when handling the leaves as the stems can be quite prickly. I hurt myself a few times before I realised I should just softly touch the stems rather than grab them with force.
Ingredients 2 very large handfuls radish leaves
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
1/4 cup cashews
1 garlic clove
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 - 4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp water (can substitute with more oil)
Salt and pepper
Pull the radish leaves from their stems and rinse under water, while being careful not to hurt your hands (see intro). Pat dry.
Grate the cheese and chop the garlic.
Place the leaves in a food processor along with all the other ingredients.
Process until smooth. Add more olive oil if you wish to have a runnier consistency.
Store in a container in the fridge for up to 5 days.