I love buying bunches of radishes, but I always feel guilty about tossing away their lovely greens. I don’t mind their slightly bitter taste, but their prickly texture throws me off. What do I do with them?
Sometimes, I store them in the fridge with the radishes and pretend that they don’t exist. When I open that bag of radishes days later, all I see are greens that have started to turn into a goopy mess. Then, the distinct smell of bad eggs hits me in the face. Clearly, that was a bad idea.
So I set out to look for radish green recipes because someone must have cooked with them, right? I’ve seen posts suggesting that radish greens could be tossed into salads, used in place of lettuce in sandwiches, or added into an egg scramble. But the one idea that caught my eye was using the greens to create a pesto sauce.
As summer is in full force, fresh basil is popping up everywhere! Where there’s fresh basil, there’s always a pesto sauce waiting to be made. Instead of making a straight basil pesto sauce, I decided to add radish greens into the mix. I loved how the radish greens mellowed out the intense basil flavors. As you can see, this sauce married well with the summer squash noodles that I made for dinner yesterday.
Just make sure to rinse the leaves thoroughly before using them. A lot of dirt gets stuck in those leaves, and it usually takes several rinses before all the dirt is cleared from the leaves.
Radish Green & Basil Pesto Noodles
- 1 1/2 cups (50g) radish greens
- 3 1/2 cups (125g) fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup (28g) walnut halves
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, can sub with parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon miso paste
- 1 tablepsoon lemon juice
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 medium summer squash, zucchini or yellow squash
- 1 large cooked chicken breast, shredded (about 1/2 lb to 3/4 lb, 225g to 336g)
- Rinse the radish greens and basil leaves thoroughly.
- Place all ingredients (except the summer squash and chicken) into a food processor and mix until smooth.
- Chop off the tops and bottoms of the summer squash. Make noodles by using Blade C of a spiralizer. If you don’t own a spiralizer, just make squash ribbons with a vegetable peeler.
- In a large bowl, toss the noodles, chicken, and sauce together until well incorporated.
- Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container.
- If you don’t have any radish greens, just substitute it with some spinach or kale.
- The stems of the radish greens can be quite prickly, so I plucked out the leafy greens from the stem.
- Feel free to add more water or olive oil to get the consistency that you like.
- If you don’t have miso paste, just add a tiny bit more oil and season the sauce with salt.
Here are a few other ideas on how to cook with radish greens:
- Roasted Radishes with Radish Greens – Food & Wine
- Three Pepper Roast with Radish Greens – Huffington Post
- Radish Leaf Pesto – Chocolate & Zucchini (This pesto sauces uses radish greens only)
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