Sunday, July 24, 2011

July Pasta of the Month - Garden Pesto

When you think of pesto, it's traditionally prepared using fresh basil and pine nuts.  For some reason, though, I have trouble growing basil in my garden.  This year I decided to grow radishes, mostly for the peppery crunch that it brings to salads.  What to do with all the leaves?  While I know beet tops (greens) are edible and quite good, I wasn't sure about radish tops.

Barely out of the ground!
After doing the research to make sure I wouldn't be poisoned, I stumbled upon a recipe to follow from "Chocolate and Zucchini" blog.  I changed some ingredients (to make it mine) and the results were great!   I added some shrimp and dinner was served!  Definitely worth a try and you can make different variations such as parsley or tomato pesto, too!

2 large handfuls of radish leaves, stems removed and cleaned

1 -2 oz grated cheese.  I used Parmesan.

1 oz of nuts.  I used pecans

2 cloves of garlic, roughly cut

1 Tbsp lemon zest

2 Tbsp olive oil

salt, pepper or red pepper flakes can be added to your taste

Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse a bit.  Scape down the sides, and pulse again.  It will be thick.  You may want to add more oil for your taste.  Add to pasta.  I sauteed a few shrimp in a butter/olive oil mix and added them before tossing the pasta.  This pesto works well with rotini because it coats every swirl.  So good!

I used 1/2 recipe for pasta.  I put the rest in the freezer for a later date.  Thaw and add a drizzle of oil when ready to use. 

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