Don't throw away those radish leaves! Blanch them and add them to softened butter to make your radishes with butter even better! Ready in 15 minutes!
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Use it or lose it! That's my motto. Or maybe "Can you eat this?" would be better. Last spring, we happened to have a plethora of radishes in the garden and I happened to be making my way through David Lebovitz's book, Drinking French at the same time.
Radishes with butter are a classic French snack, and he took it to the next level by using the radish greens instead of wasting them. I never would have thought about eating radish leaves, I guess because they can be fuzzy on the back. But when you cook or blanch them, that goes away.
Can you eat radish leaves?
Yes, radish leaves are edible. Some of them have a prickly, fuzzy texture on the back. So blanch them or cook them down, just like you would spinach. Then you can use them in pretty much the same way you would use spinach. Add to pasta, soups, or use in this radish leaf butter.
What do radish leaves taste like?
They have a light, fresh, slightly peppery flavor, just like the radish that they came from.
What are the health benefits of radish leaves?
Radish leaves are good for you! They are full of iron, phosphorous, folic acid, calcium, and vitamin C. Eat 'em up!
How to clean and store radishes
Radishes can be very sandy. Wash them well under cold water, then give them a spin in the salad spinner, or allow to dry on a kitchen towel. I usually store them in the salad spinner covered in a damp paper towel until ready to use.
You can also store them in a zip top bag with a damp paper towel. Don't close the bag all the way and place it in the crisper drawer.
Try to use your radishes within a few days of purchase.
Radishes with Radish Leaf Butter
These make a perfect snack with cocktails, or maybe on your Easter or Mother's Day buffet in place of the same old crudité.
Wash the radishes well.
Use a good chef's knife and trim the leaves away from the radish. Leave a little bit of stem to use as a handle for dipping. It's nice for color as well.
Place the radish greens in the boiling water and blanch for 15-30 seconds, just until they turn a very bright green. Then immediately remove them and put them in the ice water. It's best to do this in a few batches so you can ensure great color on all the leaves without overcooking them.
Place the radish leaves in a kitchen towel and wring out as much water as possible.
Add the radish leaves, butter, and a pinch of sea salt to a small food processor. Pulse until the radish leaves are well-incorporated into the butter. Transfer the radish leaf butter to a serving dish, top the radishes with some good sea salt such as Maldon and serve!
More cocktail snack recipes
- Gluten Free Cornmeal Madeleines with Bacon and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Parmesan Crisps (Frico)
- Crostini with Peas, Mint and 'Nduja
Radishes with Radish Leaf Butter
- 4 cups radish leaves loosely packed
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Wash the radishes and greens well.
- Trim the leaves away from the radishes. Leave a little bit of stem to use as a handle for dipping. It's nice for color as well.
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Fill a medium-sized bowl with ice water.
- Place the radish greens in the boiling water and blanch for 15-30 seconds, just until they turn a very bright green. Then immediately put them in the ice water. It's best to do this in a few batches so you can ensure great color on all the leaves without overcooking them.
- Place the radish leaves in a kitchen towel and wring out as much water as possible.
- This recipe is adapted from Drinking French by David Lebovitz. I highly recommend it if you'd like to learn more about traditional French cocktails, aperitifs, and café drinks. It's a fascinating and well-researched book. And check out David Lebovitz IGTV on Instagram for lots of videos of making drinks from this book. He is one of my favorite chefs.
- I think you really need a mini-food processor for this recipe, not a full sized one. There just isn't enough stuff for a big one. Perhaps a large one would work if you were doubling the recipe.