Real quick recipe today! There’s been so much going on here in Santa Fe – it really does feel like someone came by and flipped a switch in the beginning of July and the ‘city’ turned on. Tourists roam the streets through all hours of the day, stocking up on kitschy Southwestern artwork that’s embarrassingly over priced and loading their guts with sloppy plates of pinto beans and chile while downing house margaritas like it’s going out of style. Such a lovely image, isn’t it? While exaggeration is one of my most favorite literary devices, I promise I’m not emphasizing this particular picture of Santa Fe summer. But while the pudgy Texans are busy inhabiting the city proper, there is another side of Santa Fe summer that is perhaps less seen but way more my speed. The hikes in the area are amazing, wildflowers are in bloom, mountain creeks are running ice-cold and clear like they do in Oregon, afternoon thunderstorms and monsoons have arrived, and backyard gardens are exploding with fresh produce. This is my kind of summer. It’s been busy work-wise, but fulfilling in unexpected ways. Not just in food but in spirit too. Sunrise hikes up to 8,000 ft, morning bike rides, meditation in the mornings and evenings, drinking loads of iced green tea (and cold brew coffee…), sharing great food with great friends – all components of this place that are feeding me.
But for now, a simple and delicious recipe I threw together the other day when I was left with a bunch of radish tops that I didn’t want to throw out. I am certainly not the first person to do a radish top pesto, and honestly I love pesto as one of the most versatile and forgiving things you can make in the kitchen! A green (arugula, kale, cilantro, parsley, basil, radish tops?!), some nuts (walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios), garlic, oil, salt, other herbs, cheese if you want it….the possibilities are fairly endless. Plus it freezes incredibly well. What’s not to love?
For this pesto I used radish tops, added a mix of pistachios and cashews (which made it OH so creamy), a clove of garlic, sea salt, a stream of olive oil until I had a consistency that I liked, and at the end? I whipped in a drizzle of Sriracha chile sauce for a kick. The night I made it I threw it in a skillet with fresh zucchini noodles and topped the whole thing with sliced avocado and cracked pepper. Green Lady ‘pasta’! You can adjust this recipe as you see fit, but having tried the cashews in pesto for the first time with this batch (and no cheese, as per usual) I would highly recommend it!
Radish Top Pesto with Sriracha
1 bunch of radish tops, thoroughly rinsed
1/3 C nuts (I used a little more than half cashews and the rest pistachios)
1 clove of garlic
1/2 C olive oil
1 tsp (or more…) Sriracha chile sauce
Add-ins: fresh parsley or other herbs, cheese
Put washed radish tops in food processor with nuts and garlic clove. Pulse until chopped and combined, then add olive oil in a steady stream while processor is running. Stop to check the consistency and scrape the sides down. Season to taste with salt and add Sriracha to taste as well. Blend until combined, adding more oil if you desire a thinner consistency. Freezes well, tastes great on everything…