All right, everyone. I’ve officially made the move from my loft in downtown Kansas City to our new (huge) apartment in Southern Pines, N.C. Big change? Oh yes. But I’m good with it, because now my life is all about food blogging. Lucky you, right? 😉 To start things off, we are going to discover the beauty of an unsuspecting victim : radish leaves! Small batch radish leaf and basil pesto, to be exact. Mind = blown.
There’s a small farmer’s market just up the road from where we live, and it’s only open on Thursday mornings. Needless to say, my Thursday mornings are now booked every week. To be honest, I’m used to the expansive city market in Kansas City, which offers literally everything from fresh mozzarella to wild game meat (and of course, everything in between). At my new farmer’s market, my options are greatly reduced … but that’s ok! My choices are still local, still fresh, and still close to me. And everyone is incredibly nice, so it’s definitely a win. 🙂
For my first trip, I brought home :
1 sweet potato, 5 radishes, 3 bags of micro greens (mustard + spinach, radish, and sunflower), one dozen fresh eggs, a bunch of spring onion, and one 16 oz. honey latte from the cutest camper / coffee shop I’ve ever seen. [bonus note! the camper / coffee shop uses DRIED PASTA as stir sticks instead of plastic straws! They try to be as green as possible. Be still, my heart. We will return next week.] (also : follow me on twitter for bonus note posts!) <3
Anyway, I’m not usually big on radishes, but the woman selling them said her husband had just picked them that morning. What? Well, there’s no way I’m going to turn down a vegetable that fresh. I’ve recently committed myself to learning more about food in general, and expanding my horizons to new flavors. I’m also learning about the importance of locally sourced items, and supporting local farmers without using a middle man. The situation just sort of fell into place for me, so these radishes had to come home with me.
I got home, and immediately started reading about radishes: what they pair well with, various ways to use them, etc. THEN I discovered that radish tops are edible, too. This is huge, as I really do not like wasting food. (I sometimes think that my past life was spent rationing food and other things during harder times.)
Mark has been growing basil on our balcony since he moved here, and it was due for a trim. In another moment of everything coming together, I knew I had to make a pesto with the radish leaves and our basil. A small batch of radish leaf and basil pesto, even. Because I’m all about small batch recipes, and this was all meant to be.
I used radish leaf and basil pesto on pizza (with radishes tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper), and I am currently freezing the rest to use in a fresh pasta soon. That’s right, I’m going to make fresh pasta. I also traded in a beer for coffee during my relaxing Sunday afternoon on the balcony yesterday. Who am I?!
Regardless, I love this pesto and I’m so happy to share it with you. Let me know what you think, and I always want to hear how you plan on using it! Cheers to you, and cheers to the warm weather. Let’s eat all the pesto this summer. We deserve it!
small batch radish leaf + basil pesto
- 1 cup fresh radish leaves washed; loosely packed
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves washed; loosely packed
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil best quality
- 3 Tbsp. walnuts toasted
- 2 Tbsp. parmesan best quality
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt freshly cracked
- 1 pinch cracked black pepper
- 1 large garlic clove roughy chopped
- Combine radish leaves, basil leaves, garlic, toasted walnuts, and one tablespoon of olive oil into a food processor. Pulse until ingredients are starting to form a paste. Stop to scrape down radish and basil leaves whenever necessary.
- Add the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Pulse a few times to combine everything. Then, slowly drizzle in the additional olive oil as you turn the processor to a steady blending mode. Blend until creamy, or to your preferred texture.
- Add additional salt to taste, and add additional olive oil to achieve a creamier texture if you like. Refrigerate pesto for up to one week, or freeze for up to three months.