I think we need to apply this to vegetables too. I've called it top-to-toe eating. It pains me to see people pluck the tops off beetroots, or the outer leaves off cauliflower, when the whole plant is perfectly good to eat. I don't even like throwing my carrot/celery/leek ends, I just collect them in a freezer bag and dump them into stock.
Anyway I bring this up because it's Earth Day this Sunday, and as I write this, the count stands at 987,884,392, quite a bit away from the billion acts of green they're aiming for. I thought I'll share this spring dish as a way to pledge three acts of green at a go: eating local (get your radishes from the local farmer's market now, they're bang in season), eating more vegetables (it's spring, no excuse), and reducing waste (nothing's going into the bin).
PAN-SEARED RADISHES W/ RADISH LEAF MISO PESTO
1 large bunch of whole radishes
1 small handful of toasted almonds (pine nuts are expensive)
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp naturally fermented white miso
generous pinch of unrefined sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
your favourite extra virgin olive oil
squeeze of lemon
2 tbsp clarified butter (don't use evoo, saturated fats are more stable for high heat cooking.)
1. Prepare the radishes, separate tops from bottoms. Chop the bottoms into equal-sized pieces, halved or quartered if large. Wash the tops to remove any dirt from the leaves and roughly chop.
2. For the seared radishes, heat the clarified butter over medium-high heat, and when just sizzling, add the radishes cut-side down. Season, and sear until golden brown, about 5 min. Flip and repeat on the other side. If it had 3 sides, I kind of lazily ignored the last side.
3. For the pesto, combine all the ingredients except lemon in the food processor, adding the evoo as you g, enough to make a smooth paste. Finish with a squeeze of lemon. You can also do it by hand if you're enthusiastic. This will keep in the fridge for a couple of days if submerged under oil.
If you've only ever had radishes raw in salads and such, you should give cooked ones a try. I don't mean mushy tasteless over-boiled radishes; pan-seared ones still retain a slight refreshing crunch. At the same time, their sharpness mellows, and their light sweetness comes through, a great contrast to the salty peppery pesto. It's nonsense that people are willing to pay for those little leaves for their salads when you can get just as tasty ones free. Radish leaves have a nice mustard-y bite to them, pretty much like rocket or watercress, giving a more assertive pesto that's brilliant just as a dip for good bread even, or with pasta (or going by the asian theme, dress glass noodles with it.)
If you really still can't be bothered with getting the food processor/mortar and pestle out, I did a really simple yummy top-to-toe radish stirfry last year. Hope that's got everyone inspired to start rummaging your bin for food.