Can You Eat Radish Greens? Yes! Make Pesto

Many people don’t realize that you can eat radish greens or leaves. Yep. They are 100% edible. In the spirit of waste not, want not, here’s a quick radish greens pesto recipe for your next crop. It’s healthy, delicious, and super easy. Scroll to the bottom for more radish green recipes.

Lately, we’ve seen a huge surge of interest in growing your own veg, which is a great thing. And more and more people seem to be embracing the convenience of farm box deliveries and the relative safety of shopping at farmer’s markets.

Which means, many folks are ending up with parts of veggies you don’t typically bring home from the supermarket. You can make pesto out of practically any kind of leafy green. Radish greens are especially good. Some other ideas: spinach, parsley, beet greens, kale, broccoli greens, carrot tops.

If you use the actual radishes at an earlier time, just cut off the tops and place in a glass of water on your kitchen counter — they’ll keep for a couple days until you’re ready to make pesto.

Below is offered as a starting guide — adjust the amounts to your own taste. That’s your business.

Ingredients

  • bunch radish greens (3 cups or so — or, again, whatever you have on hand)
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan (more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup dried almonds (or pumpkin seeds or pine nuts, up to you)
  • salt and pepper to taste (let the Parmesan guide any additional salt, and then add as an adjustment at the end)
  • The secret ingredient: smokey paprika!

Time needed: 10 minutes.

Radish Green Pesto Recipe

  1. Blend or mortar and pestle? It’s up to you!

    Accumulate all of your ingredients, as listed above, except the salt, pepper, and paprika — and place in a blender or mortar and pestle. Mix until they form a pasto … sorry, pesto.

    You’ll likely need to use a spatula during your blend to wipe ingredients off the walls of your mixer/bowl, back into the paste.

  2. Taste your pesto and add seasoning

    Dip in a clean spoon (or finger or chunk of bread) and taste your pesto. Now, add salt, pepper, and paprika to your liking.

    The smokey paprika really is a secret ingredient here, lifting up the garden-fresh taste of the leaves and olive oil and adding an excellent layer to the pesto’s nutty, salty, lemony flavor. It brings it all together.

Pesto is easy and almost an afterthought of ingredients — which is to say, you may choose to add more garlic or more oil or more nuts to get the consistency and flavor you want.

Radish Greens Pesto Serving Ideas

  • On a slice of homemade toasted sourdough bread, with fresh avocado, goat cheese, or burrata.
  • As a topping on homemade beef tacos (in which case, add more paprika)
  • Dolloped on runny poached eggs in a simple green salad (radishes, anyone?)
  • Stuffed in ravioli with ricotta cheese
  • As a ‘marinade’ for baked fish (like halibut; in which case, thin with more olive oil and lemon juice)

More Ways to Eat Radish Greens

Radish Leaf Soup

David Leibovitz, one of my very favorite bloggers, offers this recipe for radish leaf soup. While you’re there, have a look around. His writing and his recipes are great, and we always point people to David’s Paris recommendations whenever we hear someone is headed there. (Who do you trust for patisserie recommendations in Paris? Yeah, a pastry chef who has lived there for 20 years.)

Radish Leaf Hummus

We are a very snacky people in this house, so anything semi-healthy we can dip a chip into is thumbs up. I’d love to be able to tell you we are dipping carrot sticks, but that just ain’t true.

Sweet and Sour Stir-Fried Radishes With Their Greens

This one is from another one of my fav recipe sources, Martha Rose Shulman over at New York Times Cooking. We have been eating a lot of her Chickpeas with Baby Spinach this spring, since it’s mostly a pantry dish, which you could also make with radish greens instead of spinach. We top it with fried eggs, of course, cuz we’re hungry like that.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy! What do you do with your radish leaves? Or what do you use to make pesto? Drop your ideas in the comments!

Easy peasy lemon squeezy! What do you do with your radish leaves? Or what do you use to make pesto? Drop your ideas in the comments!

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