My husband and I run a small CSA farm, meaning we supply 40 families with a box of seasonal produce every week. CSAs are a great way for people to support local farmers and a wonderful way to ensure you’re truly eating local produce—usually grown organically from farmers you get to meet and know by name. It really is a beautiful thing!
With that being said, eating seasonal produce typically means that folks receive certain vegetables regularly in their boxes and one of my missions is to make sure our customers continue to stay inspired in their kitchens. Radishes, a quintessential spring food, are a good example of a vegetable that our members get a lot of. They are great when sliced thin and tossed in salads, or served with a piece of toasted bread that’s been spread with butter and salt. They have a lovely peppery bite and I adore eating them straight out of the ground with a little dirt still still on them. With that being said, sometimes it’s nice to try something new, and roasting is a great way to prepare this lovely spring vegetable.
Another great thing about radishes…..their leaves are edible! Not only edible, but delicious. They have a mild flavor that is a cross between watercress and nettles. It’s important to note that the really large radish leaves can be a bit tough and slightly bitter, so make sure to grab fresh radishes with tender greens. I love encouraging folks to eat the whole plant; this Roasted Radish and Radish Leaf Pesto Pasta is a lovely way to celebrate the flavors of the season.
I hope you all enjoy this simple meal as much as we do. Feel free to use a variety of radishes here. We chose traditional round radishes with a few French Breakfast radishes just for the heck of it. Regardless of what varieties you pick up, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how flavorful this meal is.
- 2 cups lightly packed radish leaves from about 1 large bunch, tough stems removed
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + more to thin if necessary
- Roasted Radishes
- 1 1/2 cups radishes sliced in half and stems removed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pinch of salt
- pinch of pepper
- 8 ounces whole wheat pasta
- Grated parmesan cheese for topping
- Microgreens for topping
- Prepare the pesto by combining all the ingredients, except the oil, in a food processor. Begin processing and with the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Blend until smooth. Taste test and adjust seasonings if need be. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Toss the radishes with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a parchment-covered baking sheet and roast in the oven until crisp-tender and lightly browned, 12-15 minutes. Toss halfway through cooking.
- Cook pasta in a pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving one cup of cooking liquid. Toss the pasta in a bowl with the pesto and roasted radishes. If need be, add the cooking liquid a little at a time if the pasta mixture is dry. Serve with grated parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and a few micro greens.