Radish leaves are the best thing I have ever discovered. I love pesto but never have money/enough basil on the plant to make a really good basil pesto – you just need so many leaves. But radish leaves come in an abundance and you get crunchy bright pink radishes too! I am not sure which is the bonus any more – whether I buy a bunch for the leaves or the root.
The leaves taste slightly nettle-y and have the peppery flavour of the radish itself. Make sure you pick the leaves off the radish on the same day you buy them from the market or the shop, because any later and they will go bad. Even if you pick them, wash them and then leave them in the fridge until the day after that is fine but do make sure you separate them from the radishes on the first day. The bigger the leaves the better, the smaller ones can be slightly prickly. And they will probably need quite a good wash!
The pesto is very simple and goes with pasta, bread, on pizza or in a salad. The mint leaves are optional but they do add an amazing freshness to the pesto. If you can find them, then go for it. Mint is easy to find where we live – it just seems to grow wild everywhere – which I am very grateful for. Look out for it on the sides of roads and pathways and fields, with little purple flowers growing at the roots. If not, it is usually in the market or the shop.
Radish Leaf and Mint Pesto
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Radish leaves – as many as you get from your radishes
6 mint leaves
Juice of ½ lemon
50ml olive oil
- Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until desired consistency, adding more oil if you require.