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.
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.
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.
*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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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
- 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.
- Toss the zucchinis into the pesto, top with radishes and sesame seeds and enjoy!