Sunday, July 5, 2009

broccoli pesto

we had a broccoli crown in the fridge that was nearing the point of use-now-or-else. wanting to do something other than the usual steamed/blanched/sauteed/other-easy-cooking-method broccoli side dish, i decided to make a broccoli pesto of sorts to shake things up. i used nuts and herbs that we already had on hand and you could easily switch them out for whatever you have laying around. we enjoyed this on pasta for dinner but it would work well wherever you would normally use pesto!

broccoli pesto
1 broccoli crown
1/4 cup almonds
3/4 cup dill, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup parsley, coarsely chopped
juice of 1 1/2 lemons
5 cloves braised garlic*
1/4 teaspoon crushed chili flakes
1/2 cup olive oil (give or take)
salt and pepper to taste

chop the broccoli into small florets and slice the stem. blanch in a pot of salted boiling water for about 15 seconds. drain in a colander and run under cold water.

in a food processor, pulse the almonds until they become fine crumbs (but don't turn them into butter!). add the broccoli and give it a few spins to roughly chop it up. add all other ingredients and process until you reach your desired pesto consistency. i poured in a splash of oil in the beginning forgetting to measure, then measured out an additional 1/4 cup to add but i think i had about 1/2 cup total. anyway, add the oil gradually and blend in between to make sure you don't use too much.

i didn't have room in our tiny food processor for all the broccoli so i saved the stem slices and browned them in a frying pan to top our pasta with.

*braised garlic is super easy to make and a nice thing to keep in the fridge. to make it, just separate and peel the garlic cloves from two heads of garlic (or however many you want) and place in a small baking dish. cover with 1/2 cup olive oil and toss in a rosemary sprig (or whatever herbs you want). cover with foil and cook at 350 for about 30-40 minutes (until the cloves are light brown and soft).


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