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When I started my garden 6 weeks ago I had very little experience.  I was not a huge fan of radishes, but I read that radishes are fast an easy to grow, so I included them in my gardening plan for a boost of confidence.  Fast forward to today, and I have more radishes than I know what to do with.  I  tried the obvious, using them raw in salads, but it was rather uninspiring.  I then tried roasting a bunch tossed in olive oil and salt and pepper, and this really brought out their lovely earthy flavor.  I have also discovered that the greens mixed with almonds and garlic make a really good pesto. Lately, I found my favorite way to use the radishes is spreading the radish greens pesto over some whole grain pizza dough and topping it with some mozzarella and roasted slices of radish.  Now if you think you are not a radish fan like I did, try this recipe, and I am almost positive you will be converted.  If you already love radishes and have an over-abundance, this recipe is a great way to mix it up a bit.

I wrote the recipe in three parts, so that it would not seem too overwhelming (it really is not), and I suggest making the dough first, and then while it is rising, roast the radishes and prepare the pesto.

Roasted Radish Pizza with Radish Greens Pesto

Whole Grain Pizza Dough (see recipe below)

½ cup Radish Greens Pesto (see recipe below)

1 cup freshly grated part-skim mozzarella

2 bunches of radishes, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Sea Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon cornmeal for dusting the pan

Preheat Oven to 375° F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Toss the radishes with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Turn the oven up to 500°. Lightly dust a large baking sheet or pizza pan with cornmeal.  Roll out the pizza dough onto the pan with a rolling pin.  Spread the pesto over the dough.  Top with the mozzarella.  Spread the radishes evenly over the pizza in a single layer. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.

Spelt Pizza Dough

2 ¼ teaspoons dried yeast

1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses

1 cup hot water

2 ½ cups whole spelt, plus extra if needed and for dusting

1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for greasing the bowl

½ teaspoon salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attachment, combine the yeast, molasses, and hot water.  Stir for a couple of seconds to combine and let sit until frothy (about 5 minutes).  Add the olive oil, flour, and salt.  Turn the mixer on to speed 2 and let mix for 2 minutes.  The dough should come together and clean the sides of the bowl, but if it is too wet at this time, slowly add flour until this happens.  Let the mixer knead the dough on speed 2 for 3 more minutes.  Alternatively, if you do not have a stand mixer, follow the instructions above stirring until the dough begins to come together, and then hand knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 7 minutes.  Lightly grease the bowl and a sheet of plastic wrap large enough to cover the bowl.  Return the dough to the bowl and cover with the plastic wrap.  Leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.

Radish Greens Pesto

2 packed cups radish leaves (just the top, stems removed)

2 cloves garlic

1/3 cup olive oil

Juice from 1 lemon

¼ cup whole raw almonds

2 tablespoons finely grated grana padano

Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

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