It is so striking that one-third of the global food production intended for human consumption goes to waste
Food waste is one of the biggest challenges for modern societies. It has social, humanitarian but also environmental aspects, especially in an era that the consequences of climate change are already here.
In many instances though, we do not waste food deliberately. We just do not know how to get the most out of it. That is not something that we have to do by any means, it simply makes sometimes a lot of sense. By doing so, we end up with great homemade preparations, which not only upgrade our pantry but also save us a lot of money.
A great example in this regard is radish.
When I buy radish, I look always for a bunch that has lots and healthy green leaves. It costs usually something like one euro. I go home and start a simple preparation by removing the leaves, discarding only a few that might look completely dead, and wash the rest.
I blend all those leaves together with a few more ingredients and make a big jar of pesto, which I will use to dress many of my dishes during the next couple of weeks. The red radish bulbs are either stored in the fridge and used in salads or I bring them to another level by introducing new flavors and aromas. To do so, I prepare a simple brine and let them ferment into it for days/weeks.
dried tomatoes (soaked for few hours in water)
raisins (soaked for few hours in water)
extra-virgin olive oil
water (which was used to rehydrate the dried tomatoes)
nuts of your preference (optional)
hard cheese (optional)
- Wash the radish leaves and add them together with the rest of the dried ingredients in a food blender.
- Add some extra-virgin olive oil and some water and start blending.
- Adjust to a pesto-like consistency by adding gradually more olive oil and water.
- Season with salt, pepper, a bit of vinegar for an acidic note, and grate some cheese or let it vegan.
- Do a last mix, place the pesto into a jar with a layer of olive oil on top, and store in the fridge.
radish bulbs (cut into strips)
- Place the chopped radish bulbs into a bowl with a good tablespoon of salt. Mix and massage with hands for a few minutes, until radish softens slightly and releases some liquid.
- Transfer everything into a glass jar and press to fit until the top. Squeeze with your hands to fill the jar as well as possible.
- Add some water to fill completely the jar and close it.
(Weck jars that have glass lids with rubber seals and steel clips are a good choice because they let some air produced during fermentation to escape. If you use jars with screw caps be sure not to screw them completely)
- Place the jar into a container to collect some liquid that will come out from the jar during fermentation, and let it at room temperature for days/weeks to ferment.
(Approximately after one or two weeks, depending on your kitchen temperature, open the jar, and taste the radish. If it tastes sour enough for your preferences place it in the fridge and whenever you want pick some of it for your dishes. In the fridge it will keep fermenting but at a much lower speed. If it is not sour enough, let it ferment for more time at room temperature)