Roasted Red Pepper, Radish Greens and Garlic Sauce uses the edible tops of radishes to make a delectable sauce. Try it on steak, chicken or fish.
When we lived in Connecticut, I didn’t always feel like I fit in. Back then — in the first decade of the 2000s — the great buzz phrase was “find your tribe.” But where was mine? I lived in a tawny area that I didn’t feel like a financial fit for. While others were perfecting their landscaping, I was discovering raised bed gardening and composting in my backyard.
Fortunately, my cousins owned an organic farm nearby and my next door neighbor had similar crunchy tendencies. They were there when I had unexpected questions like why don’t we eat the tops of carrots or radishes (there’s no reason not to) or why are my pumpkins taking over my yard?
I was lucky. They’re wonderful people who became my so-called tribe. It was hard to leave such good friends when we moved to Maine. But the move was important and a good one for the kids and me.
Anyway, when I was growing food in Connecticut, I didn’t feel like I had the greenest of thumbs. Hell, I didn’t really know what I was doing. But somehow, for several seasons, I managed to harvest the crops my kids and I tended. (I definitely had some good advice and help from my cousin and neighbor that helped.)
Here in Maine, we’re still growing food — and a lot more successfully now. We rent raised beds at our local community garden and tend them carefully each year. Actually, until this year, we had one bed. Now we have four. I can’t wait to see how much we grow — to enjoy immediately and to save for later too. I am hoping that we’ll be able to put up and freeze lots to enjoy in the cold Maine winter months too.
Here in Maine, I’ve found that my tendency toward greener living is a more natural fit. It’s kind of like a breath of fresh air in my life.
As for vegetable tops, we eat them all the time. Beet greens are my favorite, but carrot tops and radish greens can also be delightful too. I am always looking for ways to incorporate the greens into recipes. It’s part of my goal to be a zero-waste gardener.
With beets, carrots and radishes planted for this season, we’re primed to have tops galore to use in sauces like carrot top chimichurri and dishes like beet green bruschetta. Whatever we don’t eat immediately, we’ll free or can for winter. I can hardly wait.
All of this is to say that if you aren’t get eating the tops of vegetables, you should be. Though they aren’t readily called for in recipes like spinach or kale are, many vegetable tops are totally edible. And they’re good — and packed with nutrients.
So the next time you slice them off your bunch of French breakfast radishes, consider how you could eat them.
Hint: This Roasted Red Pepper, Radish Greens and Garlic Sauce is a great option.
The radish greens give this a great, earthy flavor. The roasted red peppers lend a lovely sweetness. Garlic gives the sauce a slight bite. And olive oil brings it all together. I love this sauce on steak, chicken and shrimp — it can work with so many foods.
This sauce is a cinch to make. Combine the ingredients in a food processor, process until smooth and then voila! Ready to use.
So easy. So good. Why not try Roasted Red Pepper, Radish Greens and Garlic Sauce yourself?
- 1 cup packed radish greens
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers
- 1 clove garlic, cut into chunks
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Combine the radish greens, roasted red peppers, garlic and salt in the bowl of a food processor.
- Drizzle in the olive oil.
- Process until smooth.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 93 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 155mg Carbohydrates: 2g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 1g Protein: 1g
Here it’s served with a salad topped with balsamic sauteed radishes. Delightful!
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.