Radish Top and Parsley Stem Pesto (Pesto di Cime di Ravanelli e Gambi di Prezzemolo)

No waste!  It’s satisfying to make a meal out of what is so often thrown away, especially one that tastes really good:).  All those green leaves attached to organic radishes and flavorful parsley stems should not be bound for the garbage!  I am all for “whole foods” cooking*, which means eating entire entities for optimal nutrition, and this recipe is no exception.

I use less oil than most people use when making pestos, as the oil can dilute flavor, make the pesto too runny and, not to mention, it’s expensive!.  Also, I prefer to get a greater proportion of fats from whole sources.  That means olives instead of olive oil, walnuts instead of walnut oil, etc.  This is because eating foods in their naturally occurring state promotes balanced nutrition.  When you eat a whole walnut, for example, you have a balance of fiber, oil and vitamins/minerals.  Eating walnut oil, on the other hand, just gives you the fat, which has been treated by manufacturing with heat, fissure, etc.  With theses processes, the oil’s delicate healthy chemical compounds (a.k.a. “phytonutrients”) have likely been destroyed or altered.

To clarify, I understand the need to use oils and other slightly processed items in cooking to make food taste good, but it’s best to use these in moderation and try to use their whole alternatives where possible.

This pesto is vegan, but you wouldn’t know it!  Miso and walnuts offer a “cheesy” umami flavor and the umeboshi vinegar and lemon give some salty tang.  It’s kind of addictive, actually.

*If you’re interested in the theory behind “whole foods” nutrition, I suggest reading “Food and Healing” by Annemarie Colbin.

What you need:

90 grams (about 2 bunches, picked over) radish tops, well rinsed

12 grams (about 3 cloves) garlic, minced

60 grams (one bunch) parsley stems, rinsed and torn

10 grams (1 1/2 teaspoons) yellow or chickpea miso

70 grams (3/4 cup) walnuts

1 1/2 grams (1/2 teaspoon) black pepper

23 grams (2 teaspoons) lemon juice

15-20 grams (3-4 teaspoons) umeboshi vinegar

45 grams (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil

What to do:

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and run until smooth.  Store in fridge or serve immediately with pasta or other grain, spread on a sandwich or add a dollop to soup.

Radish Top and Parsley Stem Pesto (L) - The Clean Gourmet

Pesto di Cime di Ravanelli e Gambi di Prezzemolo:

Cosa serve:

90 grammi (circa 2 grappoli) di cime di ravanelli, ben sciacquate

12 grammi (circa 3 spicchi) d’aglio, tritato

60 grammi (un grappolo) di gambi di prezzemolo, sciacquati e strappati a grandi pezzi

10 grammi (1 1/2 cucchiaini) di miso giallo

70 grammi di noci

1 1/2 grammi (1/2 cucchiaino) di pepe nero

23 grammi (2 cucchiaini) di succo di limone

15-20 grammi (3-4 cucchiaini) di aceto d’umeboshi

45 grammi (60 millilitri) di olio extra vergine d’oliva

Cosa fare:

Mettete tutti gli ingredienti nel frullatore o nel robot da cucina e fate frullare finché non abbia una consistenza cremosa.  Conservate in frigo o servite subito con della pasta o altri cereali, su un panino o mettete un goccio nella zuppa.


Roasted Vegetable and Garlic Scape Pesto Salad

Roasted Vegetable and Garlic Scape Pesto Salad

Serves 3-4

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For the Salad:

One small head cauliflower, sliced into ¼” thick pieces (or other “roastable” vegetable)

6-8 oz wild mushrooms (I used oyster), roughly chopped

Organic herbed lettuce mix (or add herbs to baby romaine)

Heirloom tomato, diced into 1″ pieces

Cucumber, peeled and cut into half-moons

One lemon

For the Pesto:

4-5 garlic scapes

1/4 cup grated parmesan

2 tsp lemon juice

1/3 cup basil

2-4 T good olive oil

salt and pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  In the meantime, make the pesto by putting scapes into a food processer and running until finely chopped.  Add remaining ingredients, starting with two tablespoons of the oil and run.  Add more oil until ultimately smooth and incorporated.  Set aside.

Spray* a baking sheet with oil and lay cauliflower pieces flat.  Spray cauliflower and put in oven until browned.

Put about half the pesto in a medium-sized bowl and add cauliflower.  Cover with lid and begin to cook mushrooms.

Heat pan or skillet over medium heat and spray or lightly grease with olive oil.  Lay mushroom pieces flat (do in batches if you don’t have enough room in pan) and allow to brown.  Once browned, flip.  Add to bowl.

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Toss mushrooms and cauliflower with pesto, adding more pesto if you prefer.

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Arrange lettuce on plates, topping with cooked vegetables, tomato and cucumber.  Spritz with lemon juice and serve immediately.

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*I use a refillable sprayer that uses pumping action, rather than chemicals, to spray.  If you don’t have one of these, just toss the cauliflower in olive oil.

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