web analytics

radish leaf pesto

Radish Leaf Pesto CrostiniPesto derives its name from pestâ which means to pound/crush.  A typical pesto consists of crushed garlic, basil, pine nuts mixed with olive oil and Parmesan cheese.  Pesto was originally used mostly to flavor vegetable soups. It wasn’t until the early 1900’s that it was used as a sauce for pasta.  Earlier versions of pesto used parsley or marjoram instead of basil, and did not include the pine nuts.

Our Saturday morning visit to the farmers’ market meant a stop at Off Beet Farm. Their table, loaded with goodies, had lovely bunches of French breakfast radishes for sale.  Their elongated raspberry-pink bodies caught my attention. These radishes are delicate in flavor and perfect to munch on.  However, why this heirloom radish is named French breakfast is one for the experts.  I cannot imagine eating radishes for breakfast.  However, sliced up in a salad, lightly stir-fried, or on a slice of bread would be my preferred way to enjoy it but only after eleven in the morning!

I picked up a freshly baked baguette from The Old Apothecary Bakery (recently opened in Halifax) and I wanted to make the best use of the bread.  When I spotted the radishes from Off Beet Farm, I originally intended to use ricotta spread over the baguette with sliced radish and use the leaves as a garnish.  But the more I thought about it the more I steered away from that and created this pesto version.  I am so happy I did!

French Breakfast RadishServes 4
2 handfuls radish leaf greens, washed and stems removed
small clove of garlic, skin removed
pinch of sea salt
handful pine nuts
Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
handful of mint leaves
extra-virgin olive oil

Crostini

French baguette, sliced
ricotta cheese
pea shoots (optional)
sliced radishes

In a pestle and mortar, crush garlic with salt until it becomes a creamy paste. Add radish leaf greens, mint leaves, and pound until leaves start to break up into tiny bits. Then add pine nuts and pound again. Add half the Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Pour in olive oil, about a 1/4 cup, or until it becomes an oozy consistency. Taste and then, if needed, season with salt. Add the rest of the cheese and pour in more olive oil as needed to achieve the texture you like.

To make the crostini, slather on the ricotta cheese followed by the pesto, radish slices and topped with pea shoots.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Simple ingredients but packed with amazing flavors.  If you don’t own a pestle and mortar, use a food processor.  If you do use a food processor, try not to over process or if your machine comes with a plastic blade, use that in lieu of a metal one.  I prefer to use a pestle and mortar as I like to see the bits of crushed ingredients whereas the food processor tends to make everything smooth. The pestle bruises the leaves releasing its perfume into the garlic and pine nuts.  Enjoy!

radish leaf pesto
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Pesto derives its name from pestâ which means to pound/crush. A typical pesto consists of crushed garlic, basil, pine nuts blended with olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Pesto was originally used mostly to flavor vegetable soups. It wasn’t until the early 1900’s that it was used as a sauce for pasta. Earlier versions of pesto used parsley or marjoram instead of basil, and did not include the pine nuts.
Author:
Recipe type: snack
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 handfuls radish leaf greens, washed and stems removed
  • small clove of garlic, skin removed
  • pinch of sea salt
  • handful pine nuts
  • Parmesan cheese, grated (about ½ cup)
  • handful of mint leaves
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • Crostini
  • French baguette, sliced
  • ricotta cheese
  • pea shoots (optional)
  • sliced radishes
Instructions
  1. In a pestle and mortar, crush garlic with salt until it becomes a creamy paste. Add radish leaf greens, mint leaves, and pound until leaves start to break up into tiny bits. Then add pine nuts and pound again. Add half the Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Pour in olive oil, about a ¼ cup, or until it becomes an oozy consistency. Taste and then, if needed, season with salt. Add the rest of the cheese and pour in more olive oil as needed to achieve the texture you like.
  2. To make the crostini, slather on the ricotta cheese followed by the pesto, radish slices and topped with pea shoots.
Notes
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Simple ingredients but packed with amazing flavors. If you don’t own a pestle and mortar, use a food processor. If you do use a food processor, try not to over process or if your machine comes with a plastic blade, use that in lieu of a metal one. I prefer to use a pestle and mortar as I like to see the bits of crushed ingredients whereas the food processor tends to make everything smooth. The pestle bruises the leaves releasing its perfume into the garlic and pine nuts. Enjoy!

 

Comments are closed.