Radish Leaf Pesto

Show of hands, how many of you have googled your own, what you think was, an unique idea, only to find out you are not the only one and definitely not the first one to think of this amazing new thing? Has google and the internet really made our world this incredibly small compact village? Have we always not really differed one from the other? I guess just like they find proof from ancient times that what people did in Asia, is the same with what people did in Europe or Africa and yet, those people had never before met… How alike are we exactly? It couldn’t hardly be globalization’s fault that due to our cultures, society and basically lives becoming similar, our thought patterns are starting to look alike and we therefore start thinking in the same way and come to the same conclusions… and therefore, have the same ideas…. When did originality become overrated? Since time immemorial?! Kind of sad, don’t you think?

I was sitting, watching tv the other day, probably some cooking show 😉 and I had this excellent idea about what to do with those lovely radish bunches I had started seeing…. It wasn’t so much about what to do with the radishes themselves, but the leaves…. It all of a sudden felt like a waste… And then it came to me: pesto! But of course! If it is green, if it can be eaten raw, then it CAN be blended with olive oil, cheese and nuts and made into a pesto! Never again will I throw away the radish leaves! Or any leaves! I usually don’t, but somehow, the poor radishes got chucked away as second class, whereas they are worthy of attention.

A quick google search and my balloon of smug ingenuity burst, when I discovered after one the first click that there is exactly what I wanted… all I wanted was to maybe adjust a pesto recipe… but no, the exact thing is out there. Why did I even search I don’t know…. Making pesto is like second nature, it goes without saying how and what you use… The quantities are just suggestions…

I found Chocolate and Zucchini’s Radish Leaf Pesto and that is the one I followed… well, up to a point. She doesn’t add any herbs, but I did add some chopped parsley. I really wanted to add some basil, but then this wouldn’t have been radish leaf pesto and I wanted it to be purely radish leaf. I was thinking that the moment I add basil, I wouldn’t be able to stop 🙂 The reason I was adding parsley, was because I was trying to make the radish leaf come out and shine…. It is not as prominently tasting as basil, so I am pretty sure people will think you are serving them baby spinach pesto! Or maybe just my radish bunch was very young and immature 🙂 and the pepperyness hadn’t created yet…

I leave you to it. I leave you to experiment and add or not other greenery to the pesto. Make it your own. There is no reason not to.


radish leaves of one bunch

30 gr ground almonds (or other nuts)

30 gr Parmesan, grated (or mix of other hard cheeses)

1 garlic clove, cut in quarters, germ removed

salt and pepper to taste

some lemon zest

some chopped fresh/frozen parsley (optional)

olive oil

the usual suspects


1. Wash the radish leaves and remove the stems. Squeeze dry or give the leaves a spin in a salad spinner.

2. Whizz in a food processor all the dry ingredients first.

3. Add the radish leaves and whizz again.

before adding any oil

4. Start adding the olive oil. Clotilde’s starting off point are 2 tbsp of olive oil. This makes the pesto thick and chunky, but you can take it from there and add as much oil until you achieve your desired consistency.

happy with the result

5. Taste and see if you’d like more salt or more lemon zest and voilà!

don’t mind the reused jar, I just wanted to show you how much this yields.

I think you should add a layer of olive oil on top of the pesto in order for it to keep longer in the jar refrigerated, but I intend on using mine soon, or potentially freeze it, so I am not too worried!

Crank up your pasta, gnocchi, tartines, savoury tarts, baked potatoes, meat roasts, hors d’œuvre…. should I go on? Does anyone ever need a reason to eat pesto? No. Buon Appetito! 🙂


2 thoughts on “Radish Leaf Pesto

  1. Oh how true it is. Sometimes I am in the process of writing a recipe I just cooked, to find several people just posted the same/similar recipe. I wondered if others would think I am copying. ;(
    You know whats funny… as you know, I posted a pesto pistachio recipe on March 27 and we both used the same Bonne Maman jars to store it in! Now, how crazy is that? 😀 )))
    I knew radish leaves were edible, but overlooked them being used for pesto. I may add radish leaves to my list. 😀

    • Well, that’s one fear, I guess. I remember reading once a comment (don’t know if it’s still there) on Laura Calder’s post on her no knead bread, the Miracle Boule on the Food Network website. This person attacked her for stealing the recipe from someone & how dare her take all the credit! Seriously?! Bread?! Which we’ve been making since the dawn of time & there a zillion & one preparations & the chances are high we all have the same recipe?! Un-real. But haters gonna hate, so there’s nothing you can do about that….
      I remember your pesto recipe & I liked it. I didn’t think I was going to make a pesto recipe any time soon, but I had this idea & had never had radish leaves, so it was a way to try them. Clotilde says they taste mildly like nettles. Well I haven’t had that either, so I have nothing to compare them to. But yes, the flavour is really mild. Maybe it has something to do with how sharp the actual radish root is, I don’t know…. But definitely give it a try & feel free to mix it with other greenery, I think it could be mixed successfully…
      But yes, those Bonne Maman jars are so recognisable, even without the sticker! hahahah

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