Spaghetti with radish greens pesto

May 25, 2010  •  Category: ,


There is a mountain resort village in Lebanon where people go in the wintertime to ski. I was there one summer  as a guest of my dad’s favorite cousin, Tante Marcelle. I owe her my life, in fact, because she is the one who introduced my mom to my dad.

So, Tante Marcelle, who had been raised in Marseille, France, made this spaghetti , with greens  from the garden and Lebanese pine nuts from the pine trees nearby. I still remember the delight I felt when I tasted this dish. It was a hot and dry summer and it was  the perfect thing to eat.

It is hot these days in Dallas, and I wanted this same dish.

Is that what food is about? (to relive memories?)


  • 8 ounces of spaghetti
  • 2 ounces of radish greens (can replace with arugula)
  • 2 ounces of pine nuts
  • 4 ounces of olive oil
  • 4 ounces of feta cheese
  • 2 ounces of grated parmesan cheese
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 cloves of garlic, mashed with a pinch of salt


  1. Clean the radishes thoroughly; it will take several changes of water for the greens to lose all their dirt; chop the greens coarsely and set aside.
  2. In a food processor bowl, place the pine nuts (or almonds) and the mashed garlic; process until the nuts are chopped fine and add the radish greens; process and add the olive oil gradually until the mixture is pasty; add the cheese at the end; taste and adjust seasoning.
  3. Cook  the spaghetti and toss with the sauce. Serve.

Recipe for the radish greens pesto adapted from C’est Moi Qui l’ait Fait.



67 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Suman says:

    radish green pesto looks delicious…this must be awesome with spaghetti…yum!

  2. Anita says:

    The best dishes are usually simple and bursting with memories… Those are the kind of foods I enjoy most. Your pasta looks mouth watering. I will have it for lunch tomorrow! (quick question: comments closed! does that mean we can’t write a comment? I’ve been seeing that lately)

  3. FOODESSA says:

    Alright…I don’t know if I’m the only one that didn’t know this about radish leaves, but I’m starting to think I’ve been deprived;)
    Joumana, you have an uncanny way of educating me about using so many different parts of a variety of foods. I certainly had no idea that I was wasting those beautiful radish leaves when all along, I could have been making Pesto with it!!!
    Thank you so much for this great idea. I’m always looking for new ways to make pesto.
    Ciao for now and flavourful wishes, Claudia

  4. A Canadian Foodie says:

    Now you have really stunned me. I cannot imagine the taste of radish greens. I imagine them as so incredibly bitter. And your pasta is green. I assume that is from the pesto – and then is there more pesto in the centre just for the photo? Did you ever see pine nuts growing? I love them in so many things. They are so buttery and nutty and just a pleasure to taste.

  5. peter says:

    A gorgeous and a unique dish…never heard of nor tried radish greens. I’m game for a go at this pesto.

  6. Evel@CheapEthnicEatz says:

    I would never have thought of using radish greens but I can imagine how nice it would taste pine nuts. Wow access to free pine nuts! It is a perfect hot day dish.

  7. 3hungrytummies says:

    I always use the radish tops in my salad. Just made a batch of radish tops kimchi. Thanks for another way of using the delicious greens!

  8. Jenn, Leftover Queen says:

    This sounds great! I haven’t had radish greens in a looong time – but their spicy flavor sounds perfect for pesto!

  9. Mimi says:

    I didn’t know that radish green were so tasty.

  10. Danielle says:

    this is such an interesting pesto…I just have to give it a try!

  11. Chetana says:

    First time to ur beautiful blog….m an absolute fan of Lebanese cuisine…love to explore more and more.
    Tis spagetti is soo good..never thought of ever using raddishes…jotted in my dairy.
    Thks for sharing dear..between a fella food blogger from down under.
    Will be bk…

  12. Sushma Mallya says:

    Pesto made of radish thats something new and different but sounds the colour and the spaghetti…

  13. Krista says:

    Reliving memories – you’re absolutely right, Joumana. That IS the reason for food. I love this recipe!!! I’ve never used radish greens for anything and am excited to try this. 🙂

  14. Katerina says:

    Food always connects with memories in my mind. I use food to commemorate loved ones that are gone. This dish is very summery.

  15. Heavenly Housewife says:

    It looks absolutely wonderful, and its a great dish if you are worried about what to feed a vegetarian (there’s always one lol).
    *kisses* HH

  16. Sridevi says:

    feels like to taste some from that plate…..Also liked the sauce..

  17. recettes gourmandes says:

    très bonne idée, j’aime beaucoup cette recette, merci pour le partage, bisou joumana

  18. Not Quite Nigella says:

    Interesting! I have had pesto with rocket (arugula) but not radish greens. I wonder what it tastes like! I should just make it 🙂

  19. SYLVIA says:

    Yes Joumana, all recipes have some fond family remembrance attached to them. We turn to food to relive our childhood happy memories, and transports us there, we crave them especially when we are feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, to overcome our feelings.
    I will definitely try this recipe with radish greens, the grassy green flavor. This will be very useful addition to my sauce repertoire.

  20. Priya says:

    Wat a fabulous use of raddish greens, thanks for sharing..

  21. Maninas says:

    oh my! I’m craving some freshly-made pesto now!

  22. Rosa says:

    Raddish greens are delicious! That pesto must have a wonderful flavor!



  23. MaryMoh says:

    Beautiful pesto. I would love to make. I need to get the feta cheese first. Thanks for sharing.

  24. grace says:

    what an interesting type of pesto! it makes for a beautiful dish, joumana–bravo!

  25. deana says:

    There is a French soup made with radish greens that I read about… very popular during WWII when things were scarce… I must try this recipe because it is just sinful to throw all those greens away!!!

  26. Oui, Chef says:

    Joumana – Basil pesto pasta is one of my favorite dishes, and arugula perhaps my favorite bitter green…why haven’t I thought to combine the two before? Love your recipe for an arugula pesto, and will be making some this weekend for sure! Thanks – S

  27. brian reyes says:

    Hi Joumana,
    What an interesting idea. I’ve never eaten radish greens but if I can get them, I’ll give this a go.

  28. Simply Life says:

    i love pesto – and this looks perfect!

  29. Koek! says:

    My parents are growing radishes at the moment… I’m definitely going to recommend they try this dish!

    PS: I think food is ALL about memories – making them and recalling them.

  30. Lori says:

    Good to know that I am not the only one who uses the radish greens. Although I had never thought of pesto. You are clever- always keep me coming back to see what you thought of next.

  31. Katie@Cozydelicious says:

    I have never actually used radish greens – I always throw them away. But my frugal side really hates tossing anything that could possible be eadible, so this is fantastic! I have been getting radishes like crazy in my CSA share, so this week I will be making radish greens pesto!

    And Joumana… I must tell you… I made your amazing tahini nutella. Words can’t even begin to describe!!! I have so many of your recipes piled up in my ‘to make’ list, but that one went directly to the top. However, I think radish greens pesto is next!

  32. Mary says:

    What a lovely pasta. I’ve never used radish greens but am certainly willing to give them a try. You asked about substituting pork for the veal. Turkey would be a better choice. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  33. Ivy says:

    I love pesto in pasta. What a brilliant idea. I love making pestos out of weird greens, so I’ll definitely be trying this soon!

  34. Rachana Kothari says:

    What a delicious use of raddish greens! I am gonna make this 🙂 Thanks for this wonderful recipe, Jou 🙂

  35. sophia says:

    I tend to think that pasta is too heavy for summer….but this is just light and green and refreshing! Definitely won’t weigh me down!

  36. Kristen says:

    I haven’t ever used radish greens. It’s a great way to use more of the plant, especially from a home garden. I can’t wait to try them.

  37. Joanne says:

    You really have some of the most inventive pesto recipes. I love dishes that are infused with memory. They are the best kinds!

  38. elra says:

    Just the color alone already had me Joumana. You are such a fantastic cook.

  39. 5 Star Foodie says:

    What a unique pesto with radish greens and feta! It sounds amazing with spaghetti!

  40. fimère says:

    le pesto de radis verts est une bonne idée ça doit être savoureux, a tester
    j’aime beaucoup
    bonne fin de journée

  41. Sasa says:

    Yes! And to make new ones 🙂

  42. Melissa says:

    Food is amazing, isn’t it? It can bring back such wonderful memories and stories.

    When I think of bourekas, it brings back such happy memories from my youth. You can almost taste the ingredients in those memories.


  43. Stella says:

    Oh Joumana, I wish I had seen this post the other day. I had some pretty radishes, and I accidentally let the greens go bad (sigh). I’m usually really good about using beet greens and such, but I didn’t know what to do with them. Ended up waiting to long to figure it out-this would have been wonderful!

  44. Angie's Recipes says:

    I didn’t know the greens from the cherry radish is eatable..:-(((( I always threw them stupid was that!
    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful pesto recipe.

  45. pity says:

    i love love love aubergines, and this recipe is soooo yummy, cant wait to try it, cheers from london

  46. pity says:

    yep! me again, i meant to comment the aubergine post, but sice I’m here, I have to tell you that your greens pesto is and looks fantastic, cheers!

  47. Sook says:

    Oh what a healthy way to enjoy pasta. yum!

  48. tobias cooks! says:

    Radish greens. Great idea. I have to try this one.

  49. Jen_from_NJ says:

    Guess who got a big fresh bunch of radishes in her CSA box today? Me! I will have to try this!

  50. Faith says:

    Reliving memories through food is the best way to relive memories because so many of our senses are involved. I’m glad you shared this with us since I always wonder what to do with radish greens when I buy a bunch of radishes! 🙂

  51. Joan Nova says:

    I buy radish with the greens attached and keep saying to myself that I should be making something interesting with them — and now I know what. It looks terrific.

  52. tigerfish says:

    I have read somewhere those radish greens are good stuff. Here, we don’t even see the leaves of the daikon (Japanese white radish) – gosh….I wonder where they have gone to. And you know what? I used to throw the leaves of the daikon away, not knowing how good and precious they were.

  53. Mallika says:

    Ur pics are phenomenal! I adore spaghettis and you are making me drool over this. Love it. Cant resist the temptation!!!

  54. Magdalena says:

    I found out about this green radish pesto some time ago from Clotilde’s blog. I did it maybe a month ago, but unfortunately, leaves of those radishes did not have any taste (but they looked nice). I will have to repeat it, but I have to find a bunch of organic radishes…

  55. deeba says:

    What a fab take on pesto … beautiful!!

  56. Erica says:

    Fabulous combination! I can’t wait to try this.Fantastic pictures.

  57. Camille says:

    Now it’s my turn to sympathize – I am all too familiar with the Dallas heat. What a great keep-cool dish!

  58. Lori Lynn says:

    Great use for radish greens. I have got to try this! We love pesto!

  59. Amber @Almost Vegan says:

    Oh wow! I didn’t know you lived in Dallas – I just spent Memorial Day weekend there! I ADORE Dallas. This time we ate at Kalachandji’s, New Start Veggie Garden, and Bliss Raw Café. Had I known you live there, I would have asked for your restaurant recommendations!

    PS—Nothing says summer to me like pesto :]

  60. Jun says:

    Wow, I just happened to eat this yesterday and looking for the recipe… What a coincidence. Thanks for sharing!

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