Spring Pesto with Roasted Radish, Mint and Preserved Lemon

By • May 24, 2012 • 5 Comments

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Author Notes: Radishes are a mainstay of our CSA box. I’m always trying to come up with new ways to use them. This pesto, which is a bright and slightly bitter departure from the classic, is delicious with grilled steak or fish. You can make this ahead of time, just be sure to top the mixture with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap pressed down on the surface of the pesto. gingerroot

Makes about 1 cup

  • 3 cups radish leaves
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1 large bunch small round radishes, such as Pink Beauty or Easter egg, scrubbed and trimmed
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2-3 T minced preserved lemon, rinsed, pulp and pith removed
  • Good olive oil for roasting radishes, plus finishing the pesto
  • Sea salt for roasting the radishes
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Thoroughly wash and dry radish greens and mint. I find my salad spinner useful for this step.
  3. On a large rimmed roasting pan, toss radishes with a few teaspoons of olive oil and a small pinch of sea salt. Roast for 15-17 minutes, shaking the pan once halfway through, until radishes are wrinkled and brown on the edges. Remove and let cool.
  4. Combine roasted radishes with radish leaves, mint, parmesan, walnuts and preserved lemon in a food processor. Pulse and drizzle in additional olive oil until the mixture is the consistency of pesto. Taste and adjust salt and olive oil if necessary. Serve and enjoy.
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over 2 years ago gastronomic nomad

I really love experimenting with pesto, but have never seen the use of radishes and preserved lemons. How long is this good for?

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

To be honest, when I've made it, we've finished it off within a day. I would guess that if you top off the remainder with a film of olive oil and press plastic wrap to the surface, it will keep for around three days. Let me know what you think if you try it!

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over 2 years ago gingerroot

Thank you, Ladies! I've been on a preserved lemon kick and thought it would pair favorably with the roasted roots and mint.

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over 2 years ago EmilyC

Totally agree with sdebrango -- your pesto sounds unique and really, really good!

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over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wow, this sounds fantastic. A really brilliant and creative take on a classic pesto.