theorems and corollaries contrived in the kitchen
I squirm uncomfortably whenever big bits of food get thrown in the compost bin. I ask my housemates to save broccoli stems for me (because I will peel the tough skin off and eat them, thank you). I tried to freeze spinach stems for smoothies (that didn’t work; the fibers turned into stringy floss in my smoothie). Peanut butter jars are always licked clean. Yes, I think that with the amount of waste our community generates it is a good idea to make small daily efforts to reduce that waste, but I also think that much of my weird habits come from college-kid frugality as well. (I bought that broccoli/peanut butter/cupcake, by golly I am going to eat it!)
In that spirit, why buy a bunch of radishes if half of it is destined to be thrown away? What a silly idea, especially since the greens can be delicious! May I present to you a creamy pesto, dairy-free and high in protein. The pesto stands beautifully beside its main ingredient’s pink pickled root. I detest dill pickles, but when radishes are pickled with ginger and vinegar I can’t be kept away for some reason.
This pesto is a non-dairy alternative to the traditional variety with a great protein content! The beans add a subtly creamier texture to the sauce while bringing down the oil level a little. Add nutritional yeast for a dash of cheesy flavor. The pesto would also be delicious with pine nuts in place of the almonds or with fresh basil.
1 bunch radish greens
1½ tbsp dried basil
½ c + 2 tbsp cannellini/navy beans
¼ c almonds
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
¼-½ tsp salt
Optional: 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Rinse the radish greens in a colander, discarding much of the stems in favor of the leaves. Transfer to a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula if necessary. Add more olive oil to thin if desired.
Because of the reduced oil content, this pesto stays fresh for a little shorter duration than regular pesto. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days.
Gorgeously pink, these pickled radishes are ready to eat in less than 24 hours. Don’t neglect munching on the little ginger pieces as well. The radishes make a great addition to salads, and I mostly enjoy them straight from the jar.
1 lb radishes (1 bunch)
1 tbsp matchsticked ginger (see directions)
1½ tsp sea salt
7-10 juniper berries
In a medium jar, add the vinegar and water. Stir in the salt so that it begins to dissolve. Set aside.
Slice the radishes into thin, even rounds. On my second trial batch I accomplished a fair result by putting them through my food processor with a slicing blade attachment. Separately, cut the ginger into very thin matchsticks, about an inch or less long each. Add the radishes, ginger, salt, and juniper berries to a medium jar and fill to just to the top of the radish slices with rice vinegar and water, 2 parts vinegar to 1 part water. Close tightly. You can turn it upside down a few times to make sure the radishes soak with vinegar water. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 18 hours, and enjoy! Keeps for 3 weeks.