Quinoa with Radish Leaf-Pistachio Pesto

Here we go.

This recipe was my first attempt at a composed gluten-free dish. Like most recipes I end up loving, I was really just trying to use up the random leftover ingredients in my fridge. Radish leaves are as much of revelation as roasted red radishes. This recipe is also vegan-friendly — the flavors are rich enough that Parmesan is unnecessary. Personally, I prefer the flavor of couscous and pesto, but quinoa packs more of a protein-punch.


Radish Leaf and Pistachio Pesto with Quinoa and Roasted radishes
Serves 1
Time: 20-25 minutes

1 bunch red radishes (leaves intact)
1-3 tbsp good olive oil
1-3 crushed garlic cloves
Lemon juice
2 palmfuls of pistachios
1/2 cup quinoa or 1/3 cup gluten-free couscous (see my couscous post for separate cooking instructions.)

1. Preheat the oven to 450. Twist the leaves off of 1 bunch of radishes. Rinse. Set aside leaves and bring water to boil in small saucepan while halving the radishes.
2. Blanch the radish leaves (about 30 seconds). Drain and pat dry, chop roughly.
3. Bring 1 cup of water to boil. Rinse quinoa in a small strainer. Add to water, cover, and reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes.
4. Mix the radishes with 1 tbsp of olive oil and dashes of salt and thyme. Spread out on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes.
5. While the quinoa and radishes are cooking, add radish leaves, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and pistachios to a food processor and puree until smooth. Add more or less of various ingredients until the pesto is to your taste.
6. Once the quinoa and radishes are cooked, allow to cool. Stir in pesto and serve!

This dish would work just as well with non-gluten free ingredients. Another idea is to use spaghetti squash as a completely grain-free substitute for quinoa or couscous.

Happy gluten-free eating!