Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Hey P[r]esto!

I have tried and tried to be a gardener – and failed miserably down the years. Each summer I seem to buy a packet or two of vegetable seeds, and usually have very little success [THIS was the pathetic crop from 2009’s efforts]  But arriving in Ferndown and finding a raised bed just beside the patio, I thought I really should make one more effort. So I planted out all the remaining seeds which had been accumulating in a tin in the garage in Kirby for many years. I labelled each row very neatly [but got the carrot and beetroot rows mixed up – not a good start]

leavesThus far I have managed some salad leaves. And just FIVE radishes! I hope that on my return from holiday there may be more stuff to crop. But the radishes have produced loads of leaves.


Ever frugal, I have made a couple of batches of radish leaf pesto. It isn’t a particularly original idea – here is a recipe from the internet. Unlike the usual recipes, I changed mine to suit.

I had some walnuts which needed using up [the end of an inexpensive bag from Lidl] so they replaced the pine nuts. The radish leaves stood in for the basil – and as I cannot digest cheese, I missed out the Parmesan [but stirred grated cheddar into Bob’s portion] Mine was not too bitter- I notice some US recipes add sugar. Other recipes also add lemon juice to keep the colour green and fresh- I prefer to make small quantities and use it promptly. I stirred mine in to some freshly drained penne along with a tbsp of crème fraiche. It was creamy and delicious.

My friend Peter says there is an awful lot about food on this blog. I checked the categories stats – and he is absolutely right- food comes second to family, just beating crafts, friends and faith. I shall have to work on that!

Does anyone else have any recipes for pesto-made-without-basil ? I do know that some people use almonds instead of pine-nuts.


  1. Pesto is one of two things (marzipan is the other) with nuts in that i can eat safelyand enjoy! I never knew pesto had nuts in until we discovered my peanut allergy aged 13, but i had been eating it for my whole life and wasn't prepared to give it up as it is one of my favourite pasta sauces and is also delicious in burgers if you want something different to ketchup

  2. The EFG has made a pesto-like concoction from chives, which she likes, but I have loads of radish leaves too, so I shall have to encourage her to try your idea. We have some Lidl walnuts in the house too, so we are all set for that recipe [for a change!] xxx

  3. Ahrgh, I was bemoaning checking away my radish leaves, wish I'd read this blog post a little while back!!! I made wild garlic pest which I blogged about in May or April!!! If this current batch grow, I'm making it!!! We used walnut too!

  4. Radish leaves are a great idea! Makes me wonder what we could do with our burgeoning kale crop.... although we have so much basil there's no excuse for me to use anything else.

    I always use walnuts as pine nuts are so ruinously expensive.

    I like to make a cilantro pesto which I spread on fish before baking. I make it right on the cutting board: crush some garlic, sprinkle salt over, and scrape back and forth with the blunt side of the knife blade to make a paste. Add plenty of finely chopped cilantro, some ginger if desired (fresh or powdered), powdered coriander (optional), and pepper. Drizzle olive oil over all and blend well with spatula. Spread a spoonful on each piece of fish and bake in a hot oven until fish flakes easily.

    P.S. A fine layer of oil on top of your pesto will keep it green. :)

  5. Brilliant start to your gardening efforts and 'waste not, want not'! xxx


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