the anti-pesto pesto
Posted on August 15, 2011
Today was the last day of summer vacation. I just informed the dogs this afternoon, and they are taking it well, but they did look at me and let out a sad sigh. And then continued sleeping in front of the AC. It’s really past my new bedtime, since I do have a job (I almost forgot).
Tlacuache picked all the tomatoes left on our heat-withered plants, calling them a bumper crop (?). We roasted them with some salt and olive oil. That is a really nice smell to fill your house. Better than cookies. I almost ate them all before they made it into the pasta.
To go with all the sweet, salty, acidic red goodness, we had nutty peppery pesto, and ripe green olives.
I dont think I have made pesto since moving to Texas, partly because Tlacuache HATES basil. It is true, he really can’t stand it. It is growing in our yard, and I eat it now and then. But he can even sometimes sense it when I just think about adding it to something. (I do think of ways I could disguise it, or make him like it– almost like feeding an avid meat eater some TVP in their taco.) A shame really, its such a mild herb.
This was not just any pesto, it was RADISH LEAF PESTO. Those farmers market radishes were quickly clipped of their wings, gound up with some Texas pecans, roasted pumpkin seeds, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, cheese… and NO basil!!!
This pesto has a more peppery profile, which goes with the nuts quite nicely. It is a smash hit over here.
The anti-pesto Radish Leaf Pesto
inspired by Chocolate and Zucchini
I reduced the amount of the recipe, but you could easily double it if you want to freeze this in cubes or small quantities. And you could use other nuts, but avoid walnuts, they would be too bitter for an already less sweet pesto.
1 bunch radish greens, most stem removed
1 oz. Texas pecans
1 oz. green roasted salted pumkin seeds (or sunflower, if you cannot find pumpkin)
2 inch peel of lemon zest (I used a potato peeler)
4-6 tablespoons good olive oil (Sandy Oaks!)
2 oz. grated parmesan or romano cheese
1 clove garlic, smashed
salt to taste (do this after you pulse it, as the pumpkin seeds have salt)
Combine everything in the food processor or blender, and pulse until a paste forms. You may have to scrape down the sides to make sure all the garlic gets finely distributed. Salt to taste. If you like it a little thinner than a paste, remove it from the food processor and add more olive oil in a bowl (to keep from pureeing the radish greens) and mix.
You can freeze this, or refrigerate and eat within 2 days.