There are many tasty uses for these greens – in soups, sauces, dals or instead of spinach in a bake

Tom Hunt’s Ithaca-style pie with radish leaves.
 Tom Hunt’s Ithaca-style pie with radish leaves. Photograph: Tom Hunt/The Guardian

Radish leaves are one of my favourite leafy greens. They have a refreshing, summery flavour that’s perfect for blending into soups or eating raw in salads.

The leaves perish very quickly, which is why they are usually removed at the farm. When you buy whole radishes, remove the leaves as soon as you get home and use them within 24 hours. After a good wash, they can be eaten like any leafy green and are quite splendid wilted in a little butter. You can also blend them into green sauce or stir into a rich dal – an Indian classic. In today’s recipe, I’ve used them to replace spinach in a spanakopita-style pie.

Ithaca-style pie with radish leaves

Spanakopita and similar pies to this one are a joy to make, simple, plant-rich and nourishing. The radish leaves add a nice twist to this otherwise classic recipe, Also experiment by adding other root leaves. Add a crumble of feta if you wish. Eat warm or cold: both ways of serving this pie are equally satisfying.

Prep 10 min
Cook 1 hr 10 min
Serves 4

125g wholemeal flour
30g olive oil
4 spring onions
1 garlic clove
130g dill, mint and parsley
, finely chopped including stalks
1 bunch radish leaves (about 120g)
Nutmeg, grated, to taste
Zest from 1 unwaxed lemon, to taste
Salt and black pepper
1 tbsp sesame seeds

In a bowl, mix the flour, olive oil, 60ml cold water and a pinch of salt, knead for a few minutes and set aside. Season with nutmeg, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a glug of oil in a thick based frying pan over a medium heat. Add four chopped spring onions, a clove of crushed garlic, a bunch radish leaves and 130g of finely chopped dill, parsley and mint, including their stalks.

Cook for five minutes, whilst stirring, then remove from the pan into a bowl to allow the mixture to cool rapidly. Season with nutmeg, unwaxed lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the oven to 190C (170C fan)/375F/gas 5. On a floured surface, roll the pastry into a long strip 10cm wide and 2-3mm thick.

Lay the filling down the middle, leaving an edge of 2cm on each side. Brush the edges with water and roll into a sausage shape.

Roll this into a spiral on an oiled baking tray and brush the top with oil, too, then sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 45 minutes, or until dark golden brown.