By Ceri Jones of natural kitchen adventures

This radish top pesto salad recipe is just a simple collection of some tasty ingredients. Using the whole of the vegetable like these raddish tops is a great move towards getting more from your food. I’ve actually combined the radish tops with parsley in this pesto as they can be a bit spicy on their own. Ironically it’s tricky to find radishes with their tops attached (mostly as they don’t keep that well out of the ground), so trimmed radishes and any sort of herb for the pesto will do. If you leave the radish and leaves in the fridge attached the tops continue to draw moisture from the radish drying them out, so try and make this radish top pesto as soon as possible after buying. However if you separate the leaves and the roots then you can keep the leaves in damp paper towel in the fridge for a couple of days, just make sure you give the radish leaves a good wash and spin dry before using.

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

For quinoa salad

  • 150g quinoa
  • 2 courgettes
  • 200g radishes, cut in half lengthways
  • 60g feta, roughly crumbled
  • 20g pine nuts, toasted
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For radish leaf pesto

  • 20 grams cashew nuts, toasted
  • 30 grams pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 large handful of good-looking radish leaves, stems removed and roughly chopped, approx 40g
  • 10g small handful of parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • juice and zest of a lemon
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil and a bit more to get the consistency you like


  1. First make the pesto. Roughly blitz the warm nuts in your food processor, then add the garlic and blitz briefly to incorporate. Next add in the radish leaves, parsley lemon juice, zest and olive oil. Blend again, till a chunky green paste forms (don’t make it too smooth), add salt and pepper and taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. If you want a runnier pesto, add more olive oil and lemon juice in a 2:1 ratio to thin it out. Set aside.
  2. Rinse your quinoa well, place in a saucepan with 300mls cold stock or water. Bring to the boil, cover turn to a low heat and cook for for 15 minutes. If not quite done at 15 minutes turn off the heat and leave for 5-10 minutes for all the water to be absorbed. Transfer to a cool bowl to cool, then fluff up with a fork.
  3. Next cook your radishes on the griddle pan over a medium heat with a little olive oil. Start cut side down and cook for around 6 minutes then turn over to finish off for another 4 or so minutes. Set aside. Then thinly slice your courgettes into long ribbons 3mm thick. I use a mandolin, but you can use a peeler or knife. Either-way try and maintain the same thickness for all pieces. Fry in a little oil on a griddle or frying pan until lightly charred, roughly 30 seconds each side.
  4. Toss the cooled cooked quinoa with the courgettes, radish and stir through enough pesto to coat the grains.
  5. Transfer to a serving plate. Top the salad with the feta, an extra drizzle of pesto and some extra toasted pine nuts.