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radish leaf pesto

Radish Leaf Pesto CrostiniPesto derives its name from pestâ which means to pound/crush.  A typical pesto consists of crushed garlic, basil, pine nuts mixed with olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

  Pesto was originally used mostly to flavor vegetable soups. It wasn’t until the early 1900’s that it was used as a sauce for pasta.  Earlier versions of pesto used parsley or marjoram instead of basil, and did not include the pine nuts.

Our Saturday morning visit to the farmers’ market meant a stop at Off Beet Farm. Their table, loaded with goodies, had lovely bunches of French breakfast radishes for sale.  Their elongated raspberry-pink bodies caught my attention. These radishes are delicate in flavor and perfect to munch on.  However, why this heirloom radish is named French breakfast is one for the experts.  I cannot imagine eating radishes for breakfast.  However, sliced up in a salad, lightly stir-fried, or on a slice of bread would be my preferred way to enjoy it but only after eleven in the morning!

I picked up a freshly baked baguette from The Old Apothecary Bakery (recently opened in Halifax) and I wanted to make the best use of the bread.  When I spotted the radishes from Off Beet Farm, I originally intended to use ricotta spread over the baguette with sliced radish and use the leaves as a garnish.  But the more I thought about it the more I steered away from that and created this pesto version.  I am so happy I did!

French Breakfast RadishServes 4
2 handfuls radish leaf greens, washed and stems removed
small clove of garlic, skin removed
pinch of sea salt
handful pine nuts
Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
handful of mint leaves
extra-virgin olive oil

Crostini

French baguette, sliced
ricotta cheese
pea shoots (optional)
sliced radishes

In a pestle and mortar, crush garlic with salt until it becomes a creamy paste. Add radish leaf greens, mint leaves, and pound until leaves start to break up into tiny bits. Then add pine nuts and pound again. Add half the Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Pour in olive oil, about a 1/4 cup, or until it becomes an oozy consistency. Taste and then, if needed, season with salt. Add the rest of the cheese and pour in more olive oil as needed to achieve the texture you like.

To make the crostini, slather on the ricotta cheese followed by the pesto, radish slices and topped with pea shoots.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Simple ingredients but packed with amazing flavors.  If you don’t own a pestle and mortar, use a food processor.  If you do use a food processor, try not to over process or if your machine comes with a plastic blade, use that in lieu of a metal one.  I prefer to use a pestle and mortar as I like to see the bits of crushed ingredients whereas the food processor tends to make everything smooth. The pestle bruises the leaves releasing its perfume into the garlic and pine nuts.  Enjoy!

radish leaf pesto
 
Prep time
15 mins

Total time
15 mins

 

Pesto derives its name from pestâ which means to pound/crush. A typical pesto consists of crushed garlic, basil, pine nuts blended with olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Pesto was originally used mostly to flavor vegetable soups. It wasn’t until the early 1900’s that it was used as a sauce for pasta. Earlier versions of pesto used parsley or marjoram instead of basil, and did not include the pine nuts.
Author: The Culinary Chase
Recipe type: snack
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 handfuls radish leaf greens, washed and stems removed
  • small clove of garlic, skin removed
  • pinch of sea salt
  • handful pine nuts
  • Parmesan cheese, grated (about ½ cup)
  • handful of mint leaves
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • Crostini
  • French baguette, sliced
  • ricotta cheese
  • pea shoots (optional)
  • sliced radishes
Instructions
  1. In a pestle and mortar, crush garlic with salt until it becomes a creamy paste. Add radish leaf greens, mint leaves, and pound until leaves start to break up into tiny bits. Then add pine nuts and pound again. Add half the Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Pour in olive oil, about a ¼ cup, or until it becomes an oozy consistency. Taste and then, if needed, season with salt. Add the rest of the cheese and pour in more olive oil as needed to achieve the texture you like.
  2. To make the crostini, slather on the ricotta cheese followed by the pesto, radish slices and topped with pea shoots.
Notes
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Simple ingredients but packed with amazing flavors. If you don’t own a pestle and mortar, use a food processor. If you do use a food processor, try not to over process or if your machine comes with a plastic blade, use that in lieu of a metal one. I prefer to use a pestle and mortar as I like to see the bits of crushed ingredients whereas the food processor tends to make everything smooth. The pestle bruises the leaves releasing its perfume into the garlic and pine nuts. Enjoy!

 

The post radish leaf pesto appeared first on The Culinary Chase.

About Heather Chase

The Culinary Chase was coined by my husband whilst in a coffee shop in Hong Kong back in 2006. We wanted something that would be a play on my last name and by the time we finished our coffee, the name was born. As long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed cooking. It wasn’t until we moved to Asia that I began to experiment using herbs and spices in my everyday cooking. Not only do they enhance the flavor of food but also heighten it nutritionally. Over the years, I began to change our diet to include more vegetables, pulses, whole grains and less red meat. Don’t get me wrong, we love our meat, just not in super-size portions (too hard for the body to digest). I always use the palm of my hand as a guide to portion control when eating red meat. If the meat is larger than my hand, I save that portion for another day. Also, if the veggies on your plate look colorful (think the colors of the rainbow) – red, green, yellow, orange etc. then you’re most likely getting the right amount of nutrients per meal. I post recipes that I think help maintain a healthy body. I use the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time I make a conscious effort to eat healthy and 20% for when I want french fries with gravy (poutine). Balance is the key and to enjoy life with whatever comes my way. Thanks for visiting!

 

The views and opinions expressed in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of haligonia.ca.

http://theculinarychase.com/

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