BROCCOLI MINT PESTO

6.04.2015


Some super boring food facts about me. My favorite herb is parsley (I know, I know), apples are my favorite fruit and spaghetti is my favorite pasta, although pappardelle is a very close second. I'll eat just about anything and I eat the weirdest shit for lunch (today's was brown rice with sardines, avocado, soy sauce and kimchi), but sometimes the regular players are too good to turn your nose up to. 

Broccoli gets a bad rap, too, like it's super boring or something. On several occasions I've eaten so much broccoli in one sitting I've made myself throw up. I'm not sure why cauliflower is getting all the glory these days. I love cauliflower and all, but broccoli takes the crown for me. I love it roasted, steamed, fried, raw, whole, chopped...however it comes I will eat it. Every week I steam a ton of broccoli to have in the fridge ready for salads, snacks or to reheat for a quick side dish. At the end of it's run, I throw it in a pot with some aromatic veggies and purée it into soup. So with all the pesto that runs through this house, I thought why not purée it into pesto? 

Adding broccoli not only adds a ton of nutrients, but it also adds volume. I find it a tiny bit annoying that you have to pick so much basil to make a tiny bit of pesto. These things get more annoying with you have a kid to contend with. Not that you have to use basil because you can make pesto out of anything, but this combination of broccoli, basil and a little bit of mint is magic to me. I threw in some walnuts because I'm crazy for walnuts and they're another powerhouse when it comes to nutrients. You can't really taste them, so if you're not a fan (my husband), give it a try and you might be surprised. Otherwise, you can sub almonds if you'd like.






I've been using this pesto on everything. Eggs in the morning, toast with ricotta, spread for sandwiches, dip with veggies or crackers and with spaghetti of course. Super versatile, vegan and gluten free!

BROCCOLI MINT PESTO
~ yields roughly 1 cup which is plenty for 1 lb of pasta

1/2 lb broccoli
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 small onion (about 1/2 cup), chopped
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil + 1 Tbs
1 cup packed basil
1/4 cup packed mint
1/4 cup walnut halves (roughly 1 oz), lightly toasted
1/4 - 1/2 tsp kosher salt
black pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon

Trim away the outer rough skin of the stem of the broccoli and roughly chop the stem and florets. 
In a medium saucepan that has a tight fitting lid, heat 1 Tbs olive oil over medium heat. 
Add the onion and broccoli with a pinch of salt. 
Cook for a few minutes while stirring, add the sliced garlic, and cook for an additional minute. 
Pour in 1/4 cup of water, reduce the heat to low and place the lid on, allowing the veggies to steam, about 10 minutes until softened. If all the water evaporates, add a tablespoon or so of additional water. You do not want this mixture to brown. Set aside to cool.
Place the veggies, basil, mint and walnuts in a food processor. Blitz until it is well blended. 
With the motor on, slowly add the 1/4 cup of olive oil through the feed tube. Scrape down the sides, add 1/4 tsp of salt, black pepper and lemon juice. Blend and taste to adjust the seasoning. I like a little less salt and more lemon juice if I'm just using this as a dip, but definitely 1/2 tsp of salt for pasta.
If you are serving this with pasta, reserve some pasta cooking water to thin out the pesto just a bit to make it saucier. 
The pesto will keep for a few days in a tightly sealed container. It also freezes well. 

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