With summer just around the corner, our attention is drawn to fresh herbs, greens and veggies, and light quick preparations that highlight their goodness. This little ditty is delicious as a sandwich spread, tossed with whole wheat pasta, as a crudité dip or bruschetta topping, or stirred into some smashed potatoes to make them pop. Heck…serve a dollop along side a juicy grilled steak, piece of fish, or chicken to add a little blast of summer to your plate.
This recipe was inspired by a similar one I saw on Clotilde Dusolier's "Chocolate and Zucchini" sometime last year. Hers called for using just the radish greens, and she also used a more traditional hard Italian cheese such as parmesan or romano, typical of a straight basil pesto. I've added some basil for a little more complexity, marcona almonds for their sweetness, feta cheese for its tang, and finely diced radishes for a little extra spice and crunch.
Do you have other fresh herbs laying around that need to be used? Toss them in. Want a little more heat? Why not dice up a jalapeno. Pesto is an incredibly versatile condiment, have some fun and make it your own!
Cheers – Steve
- 1 cup packed, fresh radish greens, well washed and dried
- 1 cup packed, fresh basil leaves, well washed and dried
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup marcona almonds, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup EVOO (or more to taste)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, finely grated using a micro-plane
- 3 radishes, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh chive
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Place the chopped garlic and almonds in the bowl of a small food processor with a pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper and pulse until finely minced.
- Add the radish and basil leaves, and process while pouring the EVOO through the feed tube, stopping as needed to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue until you have incorporated all of the oil, and the pesto has achieved the consistency you desire. Add a little more oil here if you wish.
- Pour the pesto into a medium sized bowl, and mix in the lemon juice, and grated cheese. Slice the 3 radishes on a benriner (or mandoline), and then finely mince each slice. Add the radishes to the mix along with the chive.
- Test for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper or lemon juice as desired. Spoon into an air-tight container just big enough to hold all the pesto, pour a thin layer of EVOO to coat the top, and store in your fridge for up to 3-4 days.