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#AiCooking: Spinach & Radish Leaf Pesto

Welcome 2014! Another year and another series of adventures in #CSA. Having done this last year with the same farm, we’ve come to know what sort of veg to expect so I was excited to get started this year. Like last year, my sister, (e) and I are splitting a full share, since we’re both two-person households and the thought of going through an entire veg share on our own was daunting.

This week’s haul (my portion) is small, since it’s the start of the year and there’s not much to pick but that will change over time:

  • One small bunch of spinach, enough for one salad
  • One small bunch of radishes
  • One bunch cilantro
  • 1lb potatoes

(e) got the other small bunch of spinach, a head of red-leaf lettuce, a bunch of kale, and 1lb potatoes. I’m, unfortunately, not a big fan of kale and we already had greens in our fridge.

Last year I had great success with using the radish tops for pesto and it’s one of the recipes I was eager to get to this year. The radish bunch was small, so I wondered if it could be supplemented with the small bunch of spinach. After looking at recipes, it seemed that I could combine the two in a single pesto recipe.

Last year, I modified a version of this radish leaf pesto recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini. I eliminated the lemon, added more garlic, and toasted the pine nuts. This year, I spotted allrecipe’s spinach basil pesto and given the crossover of ingredients, decided it could work. The combination resulted in a very fresh-tasting pesto that goes great with toasted french bread or cheese ravioli. Yum!

Spinach & Radish Leaf Pesto
Essentially, the taste of spring in a jar

1 small bunch of spinach with the stems removed
1 small bunch of radish tops with the stems removed
1oz (30 grams) Parmesan
1oz (30 grams) pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil depending on the desired consistency
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Take the pine nuts and toast them in a dry pan on the stove top. Be careful not to burn them. I like getting them to look toasty, but they should be fine once you can smell them.

Place the toasted pine nuts, spinach, radish tops, Parmesan, garlic cloves, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into a food processor and blend until finely chopped. The consistency is quite thick, so you may need to scrape down the sides of the processor a few times.  At this point, add salt and pepper to taste. If necessary, add oil to your desired consistency (I always add an additional tablespoon).


(This recipe made one 8oz jar of pesto exactly for me, but your mileage may vary.)

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