This is an improved recipe. Earlier I made the pesto using steamed broccoli but this time I tried roasting it before grinding and the flavor was far better! Also added bit of rocket leaves and fresh basil to enhance the taste. You can avoid the parmesan if you want to make it more healthier. On to the recipe…
This is a very simple recipe using the super food - broccoli. Personally, I do not like broccoli as such but when combined or had in other forms it is not really bad! Traditional pesto refers to the dip or sauce made by grinding mainly basil, pine nuts, olive oil, Parmesan cheese and lemon juice. But now there are so many variations and pesto is not restricted to just basil. This is one such version.
It would be a shame if I do not share with you the health benefits of broccoli - I hope people who dislike broccoli (like moi) would try and include it in their diets in some form, once they are aware :D Broccoli is a plant from the cruciferous family like cabbage and it is the flower head which is used for consumption. As you are probably aware, anything green is always nutritious. Anti-inflammation, cancer prevention, detoxification and most importantly protection against cardiovascular diseases are some of the highlights. The nutrient profile of broccoli can be seen in the below table (source: WHFoods).
Thankfully it is pretty easy to cook broccoli - steaming is the healthiest method of cooking it; takes barely 5 minutes. You can have it as such after seasoning with olive oil, salt and pepper. Or you can add it to dishes like pasta, make stir fries, soups or dips like the one shown here.
Broccoli Pesto: Recipe
- Broccoli - 1 small head (approx 1- 1.5 cup florets)
- Garlic - 2 cloves peeled
- Nuts - 2 to 3 tbsp (I used walnuts and pine nuts), lightly toasted
- Extra Virgin Olive oil - about 1/4 cup
- Rocket leaves - a handful
- Fresh basil leaves - 1 tsp
- Parmesan cheese - grated, 1/4 cup or more (optional)
- Lemon juice - about half a lemon squeezed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven. Wash the broccoli florets thoroughly and place them on a baking tray along with the garlic cloves. Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some salt. Slightly toss the florets and then place the tray in the oven. Roast it for about 15 mins or so till the edges of the broccoli begin to brown and you see that it is cooked. Do not over cook it. Set aside to cool.
- Add all the remaining ingredients and blend them into a roughly smooth paste. Broccoli pesto is ready! Use it as a healthy dip, sandwich spread or a creamy sauce for pasta.