As food producers it is incumbent on us to make sure we utilise everything. Partly out of respect and partly out of necessity. Whether it is turning pork skin into crackling, making stock out of vegetable peels or bones, or lifting your game with some fancy leek ash garnish for your next dinner party in 2025 when the lockdown is eased 🙂 This same philosophy should apply to us all at home too.
So when Commander J harvested her first batch of radishes from our balcony I took this very seriously. I love radishes and often snack on them while I am cooking. I love to dip them in some seaweed salt or a home made spice mix apparently called Radish Dip (recipe at the end). However this time I decided to trying make something with the leaves and have a go at cooking the radishes.
First up were the greens. I blanched them in hot water and then shocked them in cold water to set the colour. Radish leaves have a lovely peppery note and they make a great pesto/sauce. Into the bullet went the tops along with olive oil, salt, pink peppercorns (compliments of the Sheriff of Prince Albert, Tex Freemantle), confit garlic, lemon zest and juice and some delicious Senqu River pistachios. Blitz this really well then add some Grana Padana and blitz again briefly. You can make this as thick or as thin as you like, just adjust the olive oil quantity. Mine is more a sauce than a pesto.
The result is a spectacular bright green creation that reminds you of pesto but has more zing and a citrus note. You can dip the fresh radishes straight into this but if you have an abundance of radishes try halving them and pan frying them in butter with thyme and elephant garlic. Only add the garlic at the end as it cooks really quickly and burns easily. It makes great side dish especially when drizzled with radish pesto sauce. Elephant garlic is closer to an onion than garlic and when you fry it until golden it goes very crispy and makes a delicious crispy garlicky garnish that also works well with fish.
Radish Dip, apparently
50g roasted pistachio nuts
10g dried dill
10g cayenne pepper powder
5g onion powder
5g garlic powder
Blitz everything really well in a grinder to make a powder.
Enjoy! and be safe out there.