5 Ingredient Homemade Radish Greens Pesto Recipe

This radish green pesto is super simple to make and delicious served with crackers or over pasta, not to mention it is a great way to use up those radish greens and reduce your food waste!


5 Ingredient Homemade Radish Greens Pesto Recipe

Summer means that all our favorite seasonal fruits and veggies are coming out to play and if you live in a place like New England where the winters are long and cold you know exactly how exciting it feels to see those first few veggies of summer starting to arrive at your local farmers market.

But this summer I wanted to take the whole seasonal eating lifestyle a little further and talk about how we can work towards reducing our food waste while embracing everything that the wonderful season of summer has to offer.

Since 90% of all food scraps are thrown away in the United States there is a lot of work that each and every one of us can do to reduce the amount we are wasting on a daily basis. While sometimes waste is going to be inevitable, often I find that people waste food because they don't know what to do with the "extras" that aren't usually eaten.

Radish greens are a great example of this with most people throwing away the top of the greens and supermarkets even choosing to package radishes without the greens for consumers to buy.

5 Ingredient Homemade Radish Greens Pesto Recipe

Radish Greens Nutrition

Like most dark leafy greens, radish greens are chock full of dietary fiber, and many essential vitamins and minerals that most people could use more of in their daily diet.

Radish greens in particular due to their bitter flavor are also excellent for encouraging good digestion and are traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for this very purpose. Like many bitter foods, the bitter flavor in radish greens helps stimulate digestive juices and bile, which help you digest your food better.

Other than helping to support good digestion, radish greens are high in:

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin B6

  • Magnesium

  • Phosphorus

  • Iron, calcium

  • Vitamin A

  • Potassium

  • Folate

  • Dietary Fiber

5 Ingredient Homemade Radish Greens Pesto Recipe
5 Ingredient Homemade Radish Greens Pesto Recipe

Can You Eat Radish Greens?

Absolutely! This wouldn’t be much of a recipe if you couldn’t right?!

Radishes are one of my favorite early summer veggies, but I am always so sad to see that most people aren't utilizing most of the vegetable when they only eat the radish root and throw away the greens.

Not only is this a huge food waste, but it is also a waste nutritionally since those greens are entirely edible and full of healthy fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. Just think about how much of the radish plant is actually above ground -- in fact, most of the radish plant is above ground with a beautiful canopy of greens working so hard to provide the energy needed to grow that delicious radish root underground.

While radish greens taste best when they are younger and more tender (they will also be less bitter) they can be eaten even in their mature state, but just a little more bitter tasting. So if you love bitter flavors then feel free to enjoy radish greens at any age, and if you don't like bitter tasting foods then opt for younger greens or store more mature greens in your freezer with your other veggie scraps as they are perfect for making veggie broth with.

So the next time you go to buy a bunch of radishes save the greens and whip up this simple, and delicious pesto!

5 Ingredient Homemade Radish Greens Pesto Recipe

5 Ingredient Homemade Radish Greens Pesto Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of Radish Greens (~3 packed cups)

  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese (can substitute with nutritional yeast for a dairy free option)

  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves

  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil

  • 3/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds (can also use walnuts or pine nuts)

  • 1/2 tsp Salt and Pepper (or more to taste)





Directions

  • Add radish greens to a high-speed food processor.

  • Pulse a few times to lightly chop the radish greens (this will make the consistency of the pesto much better).

  • Next, add parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, sunflower seeds, and salt and pepper to the food processor.

  • Begin to process on high until all ingredients are well combined (~ 1 minute).

  • Depending on how you like your pesto you can continue processing for a smoother texture.

  • Once you have achieved the desired texture spoon the pesto into glass jars and cover the top of the pesto with a layer of olive oil.

  • Store in the refrigerator for up to one week (as long as there is olive oil on top it could keep even longer), or place in the freezer to use at a later date.

  • Serve with crackers, as a spread on sandwiches, or as a sauce with pasta.

  • Note: If you like your pesto more oily simply add more olive oil as you are processing until you get the right consistency.