5 Recipes for Radish Leaves

Don't toss them! They're edible and tasty.

Person pulling radishes out of the ground

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Several years ago, when I started looking at how to use the parts of foods we often throw away, one of the first totally out-of-the-ordinary recipes I made was radish top soup. I loved the peppery taste of the radish leaves, reminiscent of arugula.

Most of the time the leafy greens from radish plants get thrown away or composted, but they're edible and delicious. If you think of them like Swiss chard, mustard greens, kale, or other leafy greens, they can easily become a wonderful addition to your culinary repertoire that has the added benefit of cutting down on food waste. Don't worry about the leaves looking large, tough, or bulky; they'll wilt down beautifully when you start cooking.

In "The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook," Linda Ly recommends removing the leafy tops from the bottoms as soon as you bring them into the house, since the tops will continue to draw moisture from the roots and cause them to dry out and go limp. Wash greens thoroughly before storing. Shake off excess moisture, wrap in a towel, place in a loosely sealed plastic bag, and refrigerate. You can also spin greens to dry, then store in the spinner in the fridge.

Here are several recipes that make use of radish leaves.

  1. Radish Top Soup – This is the recipe I used for that first foray into eating radish tops. Mixed with potatoes and topped with sliced radishes, this creamy, pureed soup will turn you into a radish green lover.
  2. Radish Greens Dal – Radish greens and lentils are the base for this spicy curry.
  3. Radish Leaf Pesto – The greens from radishes replace the basil and parsley in this pasta topper that can also be used as a dip.
  4. Spicy Stir-Fried Radish Greens – Garlic and a sauce are added to the greens and stir fried for one of the fastest side dishes you can make.
  5. Radish Leaves and Avocado Quiche – This is one green quiche. The recipe calls for making mini quiches and topping them with sliced radishes. Very colorful.