Spring Pesto with Roasted Radish, Mint and Preserved Lemon

May 24, 2012
4 Ratings
  • Makes about 1 cup
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

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • gingerroot
  • EmilyC
  • gastronomic nomad
    gastronomic nomad

Recipe by: gingerroot

My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love. Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.

4 Reviews

gastronomic N. May 25, 2012
I really love experimenting with pesto, but have never seen the use of radishes and preserved lemons. How long is this good for?
gingerroot May 25, 2012
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!
gingerroot May 25, 2012
Thank you, Ladies! I've been on a preserved lemon kick and thought it would pair favorably with the roasted roots and mint.
EmilyC May 24, 2012
Totally agree with sdebrango -- your pesto sounds unique and really, really good!