Don’t Toss Those Radish Greens!
published MAY 2, 2011
On a recent episode of Iron Chef America – Battle Radish! – it was mentioned that the greens are possibly the best part of this vegetable. We were surprised to hear this; we’ve always just chucked the tops into the compost! Since then, we’ve corrected our ways and given the peppery leaves a try.
The flavor likely varies by the age and type of radish, but we’ve eaten young French breakfast and Easter egg radish greens, both of which were pleasantly pungent and delicious in a salad. Here are a few other recipes and ways to eat radish tops:
According to Livestrong.com, radish greens are a nutritional powerhouse, ranking right up there with broccoli and kale in terms of antioxidants. They’re also high in vitamin C and calcium. Wow!
Storing Radish Greens
Radish greens don’t keep for long. To extend their life, remove them from the root (radish) after bringing them home. Wash, dry thoroughly, refrigerate and use within 2 to 3 days. Don’t get to them in time? Slightly wilted radish greens can be revived in ice water; wilted radish greens are great for pesto; and extremely wilted radish greens are super for smoothies.
Recipe: Sautéed Radishes from Root to Leaf
Sherri Brooks Vinton
In this dish, radishes are sautéed until tender and coated with nutty browned butter. Then the greens are added to the pan to bring a fresh radish zing to the dish. Serve this as a side dish or toss with pasta, grated nutmeg and a sprinkle of cheese for a quick, delicious dinner.
1 pound radishes with bright green leaves 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Remove greens. Wash and dry thoroughly. Quarter radishes.
Heat oil in a medium heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook radishes, tossing occasionally, until tender, about 7-10 minutes.
Add butter and cook, using a spoon to baste radishes with butter, until butter begins to brown and smell nutty, about 1 minute.
Add greens and cook until wilted, about 1 minute more.
Remove from heat, add lemon juice, if using. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
YIELD: 1 CUP
Radish Greens Pesto
4.5 Stars (132 Reviews)
Pungent, peppery radish greens make perfect pesto and pack a nutritional punch! Use with chicken, fish, pasta, vegetables, potatoes or any other way you would use traditional basil pesto.
PREP TIME30 minutes
TOTAL TIME30 minutes
4 cups radish tops (packed), washed and dried
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Juice of ½ a lemon
½ cup sliced or slivered almonds, coarsely chopped macadamia nuts or pistachios
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more as needed
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine first 6 ingredients in a food processor or blender.
Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
Add additional olive oil to achieve a thick sauce consistency. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.