Sunday, May 24, 2009

Radishes, Part 1

I ran into a friend last week in the woods near Mount Misery and as we walked together chatting about food shopping and recipes, she shared a clever idea for using radish leaves to make pesto. As soon as the Sag Harbor Farmer’s Market opened yesterday morning, I ran over and bought a big bunch of radishes, tried it, and now I’m sharing it with you.

Radish Leaf Pesto
Makes about ½ cup pesto

To balance the (pleasant) bitterness of the radish leaves, I added some lemon zest to an otherwise traditional mix. You could use the pesto to sauce pasta, but since it was Memorial Day weekend I felt an obligation to grill something. I bought a flank steak and served the pesto on the side as a condiment for the meat. Really good. Thanks, Susie!

2 ½ cups radish leaves (from one large bunch of radishes), washed and stems trimmed
2 tablespoons pine nuts or almonds
1 garlic clove, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt or more to taste

1. Place the radish leaves, nuts, and garlic in the work bowl of a food processor. Process until the ingredients form a rough paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary.
2. With the machine running, pour the oil through the feed tube in a thin stream.
3. Scrape the pesto into a small bowl. Stir in the cheese and salt. Radish Leaf Pesto will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.

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