recipes zuppa e salsa / soups & sauces

radish top pesto

April 19, 2017

spring! it’s here, finally. the sun still isn’t really shining, BUT the temperature has stayed above 10 degrees for the most part, and the plans for the rooftop terrance are moving along well, so things are looking good!! i’ve been trying to eat healthy for the most part, cause i kind of  really fell off the wagon in the last little while and started eating whatever my heart desired, whenever it desired it. that means lots of chips, lots of pizza, and mcdonalds. i love and respect fresh, whole, natural ingredients, and think that kind of food is beautiful, but somewhere deep inside of me a monster lives, one that lovesssss processed foods and it rears its ugly head every once and a while and possess me.

but since the processed food demon has fled (for now), my body has been craving all sorts of green, healthy, fresh tasting foods. my fridge is jam packed with spinach, kale and brussels sprouts, and it’s been a nice change. when i’m eating healthy, i use tons of fresh herbs to brighten up my food – parsley, dill and coriander are my favourites, and turning herbs into pesto is a great way to use up extras. i love pesto, and can’t wait until basil is in full bloom and i can make jars of basil petso and eat it with everything – but the best thing about pesto is it can be made with any leafy greens, a handful of nuts, a handful of cheese and a good glug of olive oil. i bought a beautiful bunch of radishes for salads, and that’s how this pesto recipe was born! radish tops, carrot tops, beet tops – the green parts that we usually toss all have different earthy flavours. radish tops have a peppery, almost bitter taste that i love paired with lots of garlic and lemon. just make sure you scope out the veggies with healthy looking tops and use them within a day or two. it’s also a great way to cut down on food waste!

i mixed my radish tops with pine nuts, pecorino, lots of lemon, garlic, and s&p and have been slathering it on everything from roasted veggies to eggs, and even avo-toast (and yes, i ate this giant bowl of pasta, because i couldn’t go a day without carbs – you’ve gotta have balance!). i’m looking forward to sunshine and lots of green foods in my future as spring brings peas, ramps, dandelion greens, and zucchini, but until then i’m going to cover everything in pesto!

radish top pesto
*makes 1 small jar

tops from 1 bunch of radishes, thoroughly rinsed
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup grated pecorino
juice + zest from 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, smashed
olive oil

add all ingredients except olive oil to a food processor. turn on and let run for a few seconds, then pour in olive oil with food processor running, until you have a pesto-like consistency, about 1/3- 1/2 a cup.

add to air tight container and refrigerate for up to two weeks. eat on everything and repeat!

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  • Reply Lisa April 24, 2017 at 6:10 am

    I have always been intimidated by cooking with radishes… weird I know. But I would actually try this! Thank you!

  • Reply Danielle April 24, 2017 at 6:19 am

    I so hear you on the inner monster! I’m in one of my healthier phases now, too. I’ll have to give this a try!

  • Reply Shannon Burlingame April 24, 2017 at 6:22 am

    This is such a creative way to use radishes! I bet they give the peso a good spice too! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Reply Ivanna April 24, 2017 at 6:27 am

    This sounds good. I have never had radishes except cut up in a salad, this is a great idea.

  • Reply Christine April 24, 2017 at 8:48 am

    I never ever thought of using radish tops. I love this. I may also try it with beet tops.

    • Reply lesswithbread April 24, 2017 at 11:06 am

      Beet tops would be great too!!

  • Reply stephanie April 24, 2017 at 11:02 am

    What a beautiful blog! I love your clean aesthetic. I love to cook and will have to try this. We Americans waste too many beautiful ingredients. I’ve never used the tops of radishes for anything. I wonder if they have a slightly bitter taste. Nothing wrong with that, just curious. I will be checking back for future recipes.

    • Reply lesswithbread April 24, 2017 at 11:09 am

      Thank you so much! We in Canada do as well, I’m guilty of it sometimes, it’s good to try and be concious of it when you can! They have a more peppery taste than bitter; make sure to use pinenuts instead of swapping out for something like walnuts (which are great in other pestos) to make sure it ends up on the sweeter side. 🙂

  • Reply Harsh Gupta April 25, 2017 at 6:23 am

    Other than really wanting to try this recipe, I must say you have awesome pictures here! It’s making me push to my kitchen right now!

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