Raw Kale & Radish Pesto with Zucchini Noodles

One of my favorite things about spring turning into summer is all the deliciousness that continues to show up at my local farmer’s market. While I don’t buy all my groceries there, I do spend time every Sunday walking along with my pup and seeing what’s new to the market. What I’ve seen a lot lately? Fiddleheads. I have no idea what to do with them. But I’m dying to try them. I also stumbled upon a bunch of bright red radishes.

Raw Kale Radish Pesto with Zucchini Noodles Vegan Vegetarian Gluten Free Girl Eats Greens_0011

Growing up, I was never a fan of radishes, I thought they were too bitter. But as I’m getting older I think a lot of it had to do with the preparation of the radishes. As in, there wasn’t any. I was handed a whole radish to pop into dill dip. Radishes can have a pretty strong flavor – but if you break them down, thinly slice or chop and add them to a salad – well then they’re downright delicious – crunchy little bursts of flavor.

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As I mentioned in last Saturday’s post – I’ve really been thinking about how much food waste we produce in this country and as I drooled over this beautiful bunch of radishes I thought – but what about the greens? Radishes (along with carrots) come with this big bush of foliage on top of the part we actually eat. And don’t be fooled – just because the ones at the grocery store don’t have greens -doesn’t mean they didn’t have any to begin with. It’s just that someone’s already chopped them off and — let’s be honest — probably threw them away. So in my quest to tame the amount of food I throw away I decided I simply had to find something to do with the radish greens.

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*One thing to note when you’re using radish greens — make sure to wash them well! The leaves can be little dirt trappers. I opted to toss them all into a water bath and then strain them to make sure all dirt particles were removed.

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Also on my farmer’s market haul, I picked up a giant zucchini and a bunch of kale — greens for everyone! I’ve always wanted to make a kale pesto, which I assumed was pretty much the same as “normal” pesto just swapping kale for basil. But I got real crazy and took it all one step further — kale AND radish green pesto!

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Now, if you’ve never eaten radish greens, they’ve got a strong flavor — like the radish themselves. It’s a tad bit spicy almost like arugula. Mixed with the earthy flavors of kale, it gave the pesto a lot more depth. Add in some lemon, garlic, and nutritional yeast – and you’ve got yourself a super healthy and delicious raw pesto.

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If you have a spiralizer, definitely break it out for making the zucchini noodles. It takes no time at all and turns out these perfectly sized noodles. If you don’t have a spiralizer, simply cutting the zucchini into thin slices would work too. I found my spiralizer on Amazon for super cheap – and I’m sure they’re out there in many stores too. The advantage of having the zucchini noodles is two fold. First, if you’re gluten-free, you have no worries. And second, it adds even more veggies to the mix. And if you’re like me – more vegetables is always the better option.

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The pesto with the zucchini noodles is a great flavor combination. It’s really fresh and crisp – perfect for a warm spring or summer day. I even took it to the park for a picnic and it was perfect. The thinly sliced radishes added even more crunch and texture, and overall, the dish was a big success. So if you’re looking for a new salad to take to a Memorial Day picnic this weekend, or you’re just looking for a lighter lunch in these warm months, definitely give this one a try.

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  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 20mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 1/2 cups washed radish greens
  • 3 cups kale, chopped
  • 3 small cloves garlic
  • 1/4 seeded jalapeño
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • Juice from 1/2 large lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 -3 large zucchinis, spiraled or julianed
  • 4-6 small radishes, thinly sliced
  • (optional) sesame seeds for garnish

What You’ll Do:

  1. Spiralize the zucchinis, add a small amount of salt and let them sit in a colander while you make the pesto. This will help them “sweat” a little and keep the pesto from turning runny after you dress the zucchini with it
  2. Add all the pesto ingredients (everything listed above other than the root of the radish and sesame seeds) in a food processor or blender and blend until you’re left with a pesto sauce consistency.
  3. Toss the zucchinis into the pesto, top with radishes and sesame seeds and enjoy!

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7 responses to “Raw Kale & Radish Pesto with Zucchini Noodles

  1. I’m not a big fan of kale but this has got me thinking I might give it another chance, looks so delish. I’m reblogging this too! 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on VEGGIES, YARNS & TAILS and commented:
    Are you a fan of KALE? Can’t say that I have been, in spite of liking almost every kind of veggie there is. But this post over at Girl Eats Greens grabbed my attention today, as I browsed the WP Reader. Looks so yummy and healthy too.

    Happy Eating and Week! G

  3. Your kale is cavolo nero, the same one that I am growing! I have made a kale pesto before & a radish pesto too but never combined these 2 veggies together! I happen to grow also radishes! 🙂 I will make this soon! It screams: Eat me!

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