Radishes are wonderful. They are very rarely the star of a dish and that’s a shame as they are so versatile. In this recipe they are highlighted in three different ways to create a crave-worthy salad that might just be the talk of the table. The bright and sweet bite of the pickled strawberries also adds another dimension of delight. You will have more pickled strawberries and radish-top pesto than you need for this recipe. Extras can be stirred into soup, spread on toasted baguettes or served alongside grilled meats.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep time: 2½ hours

Cook time: 15 minutes


Pickled strawberries

  • ⅓ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups strawberries, halved
  • Water, as needed

Radish-top pesto

  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1½ cup packed radish greens,  washed well and dried
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese  or nutritional yeast
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Lemon vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ small garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp clover honey
  • 2 to 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

For salad

  • 16 red radishes, divided
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground  black pepper, to taste
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 can navy beans,  drained and rinsed under warm water
  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • ¼ cup packed fresh mint leaves


To start, prepare pickled strawberries as they need time to brine. In a small bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, sugar, kosher salt and black pepper until sugar and salt have dissolved. Place strawberries into an airtight container just big enough to hold them and close the lid without squishing them. Pour vinegar mixture over strawberries before adding enough water to cover. Secure lid and shake gently to combine. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours before using.

Meanwhile, make radish-top pesto. In bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal  S blade, add pumpkin seeds, garlic, kosher salt and lemon juice. Pulse until pumpkin seeds are roughly chopped. Add radish greens, basil and parmesan and pulse again until greens are roughly chopped and mixture is combined. With food processor running, drizzle in enough olive oil to create a thick but spreadable pesto. Taste and season with additional salt or lemon juice. Transfer pesto to a bowl and set aside. If not using right away, pesto will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

When ready to put together salad, start by preheating oven to 450°F. Slice 12 radishes in half and place in a roasting dish or on a baking tray. Toss with grapeseed oil and season with a good pinch each of salt and pepper. Place radishes cut side down in a single layer. Roast until crisp tender (about 10 to 15 minutes).

While radishes roast, make vinaigrette. In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt, honey and olive oil until well combined. Season to taste with additional lemon juice, salt or olive oil. Add red onion slices and stir to coat in vinaigrette. Set aside for 10 minutes. Add navy beans, pumpkin seeds and capers. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, thinly slice remaining 4 radishes. Add these along with roasted radishes to bowl with other ingredients and gently toss to mix everything together.

To plate salad, spoon onto a serving platter. Garnish with mint leaves, dollops of pesto and drained pickled strawberries.

Radish, Navy Bean and Pickled Strawberry Salad

This recipe was originally published in the May/June 2024 print issue of Western Living magazine.