Sweet spring is finally here. Farmers markets are brimming with greens, radishes, ramps, mushrooms, and so much more. With all of this choice available, after a loonnng winter, it’s easy to get a little over enthusiastic and fill your fridge to the brim. By condensing veggie tops into pesto and pickling veggies, you can both extend their season as well as save room in the fridge. Here are some recipes that work well with, but are not limited to radishes.
Not sure what to do with the green parts of radishes, ramps, or carrots? Try blending them into a flavorful pesto to top pasta, bread, sandwiches, and more. Ended up with more radishes then you wanted to eat? Pickle them! These zesty treats add zip to tacos, salads, and are even great straight from the jar. Plus, if you have the fortune to come across some ramps (a.k.a. spring onions or wild leeks), you can follow the same idea as for radishes. Enjoy!
Radish Top Pesto
This recipe was adapted Fromachefskitchen.com
For the pesto:
- 4 cups radish tops (packed), washed and dried
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted in a cast iron pan
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more as needed
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Put first 6 ingredients in a food processor and puree until whipped and smooth, adding more oil, if needed. (If you don’t have a food processor, an immersion blender, a blender, or even a mortar & pestle will do the trick.) Put this pesto on pasta, bread, sandwiches, etc.
Pickled French Breakfast Radishes
- 2 bunches radishes, thinly sliced or kept whole (I did a jar of each)
- 1 ½ cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ cup water
- 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (this yields very spicy pickles, so use ½ teaspoon for medium spicy pickles or none at all)
- 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds (optional)
- Optional add-ins: garlic cloves, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, coriander seeds
Remove the greens from the radishes (reserve for pesto) and wash well. Thinly slice the radishes (or leave whole) and add to 2 clean pint jars.
Top with whole peppercorns, red pepper flakes and mustard seeds.
In a saucepan, bring vinegar, water, honey, and salt, to a boil. Pour over radishes immediately thereafter. Seal jar and let cool. For thinly sliced radishes, they will be ready to eat once the jar is cooled. For whole radishes, they will need one to two days to be properly pickled.
These radishes will stay delicious in the fridge for several weeks, though will lose some of their crispness after one week.
Give this recipe a try with other vegetables, such as carrots, cucumbers (duh), red onions, and more.
Emma Beauchamp is the Communications Manager for TLD. She is loving the warm weather that has finally hit Ann Arbor– though she is getting impatient for rhubarb. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org