Broccoli Pesto

Want to try a different kind of pesto? Cool, so did I. What follows is my adaptation of a conglomeration of recipes I found online. I don’t use cheese in my pesto, but would rather add to my pasta when I eat it. But, as always, you can adapt this to your taste and add some grated Pecorino Romano if you wish. I had my pesto with mini rigatoni pasta, and long fusilli. This recipe also works well as a dip with pita chips (or so I’m told by a ginger from Nebraska [he seems trustworthy enough ;)]). Enjoy!

  • Trimmed, washed broccoli florets from one head of broccoli
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup roasted almonds (optional)
  • Handful of rinsed basil leaves
  • Crushed red pepper to taste
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese (if using)

Trim and wash broccoli florets. You can either steam them in the microwave or in a steamer on the stove. I chose the lazy route (hello, less dishes to wash) and steamed them in a bowl in a bit of water in the microwave. Steam until they’re bright green (not mushy!). Add florets, basil leaves, almonds (if using), olive oil, crushed red pepper, garlic to the bowl of the food processor. Pulse until ground and just combined. You may find that you’ll need to add more olive oil at this point. Season to your liking. Consume!

Pesto, Numerous Ways

It’s been scorchingly hot these past few days in NYC. I’m not a hot weather sort of girl and I seriously don’t want to make my apartment hotter by using the oven when the A/C is running. Even though, I have been itching to bake. Ah, hopefully it will cool down in the next few days. But, I digress.

What’s more simple and yet kind of fancy at the same time than freshly made pesto? I try to not buy the store bought stuff, even though it can be a time saver in a pinch because, for me, nothing beats fresh pesto. Plus, you can freeze single use portions in an ice cube tray and use throughout the year. There are so many greens out there now at farmer’s markets, so let’s use them! Rather than make tradional pesto with basil I like to use different greens like arugula, spinach, or kale. I don’t really have a written down recipe, so what’s below is an estimate that you can tweak to your liking. I usually add some toasted almonds or walnuts too which brings an additional flavor element to the pesto. Use on pasta, grains like barley or farro, potatoes, homemade pizza, or steamed veggies.

I use spinach in this recipe, but this recipe is highly adaptable. Use whatever greens you have on hand.

  • 1 bunch (or 2, if small) of spinach, cleaned, patted dry
  • Handful of toasted almonds
  • 1/4 – 1/3 C. extra virgin olive oil (or more if necessary)
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in food processor until well blended. I omitted the cheese above, but do sometimes add a bit of good quality pecorino. I also add red pepper flakes to give it a bit of a kick. I used this pesto on pasta, but also tried it on farro which was equally delicious. To me, pesto is summer…eaten hot or cold. Enjoy!