Mediterranean caponata with radish leaves pesto
Radish is one of the easiest vegetables to grow on your balcony, so in case you’re considering turning your balcony into a small vegetable garden, then my suggestion is to start by planting radish seeds. After merely one month, you’ll get your first harvest. Besides, radish has no waste at all: its leaves are suitable for loads of preparations, either raw or cooked. Here’s one of them.
The leaves from two bundles of radish
1 tbs pecorino (or another ripe cheese)
1 garlic clove
Extra-virgin olive oil
A handful of pine nuts
A handful of raisins
Salt & pepper
Put your radishes aside – they’re excellent when eaten raw, you can julienne them and add them to your salad – wash the leaves and pound them in a mortar along with pine nuts, garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper. Keep a few pine nuts aside since you’ll have to add them to the vegetables. When the mush is creamy, add some olive oil and the cheese and stir. Wash and dice your zucchini, eggplant, pepper and onion (the cubes should not be too small), put them inside a baking pan, add the raisins, salt, pepper and the pine nuts you kept aside. Bake at 180 degrees C for 30 minutes. Take your caponata out of the oven, let it cool down a bit and add the radish leaves pesto.
You can use the leftovers from the vegetables to make a nice Mediterranean powder. All you need to do is dry the pepper stalks and all the discarded parts from your zucchini, eggplant and onion. Dry them with the method you prefer (either with a dehydrator or in the sun), blend everything and vacuum pack the powder or keep it inside glass jars. Add the powder to your dishes for an additional touch of Mediterranean taste (try it with pepper cream pasta, vegetable caponata, zucchini omelette etc…).