Friday, July 15, 2011

Broccoli Pesto?

We all know how I feel about cooked broccoli...YUCK! I love it raw, but cooked just kills it for me. However, research shows that broccoli and cauliflower are actually better for you if they are cooked. I had resigned myself to missing this benefit, until I saw this recipe for Broccoli Pesto as I was thumbing through the July Good Housekeeping magazine. I LOVE pesto, and the idea of sneaking even more veggies into my kid's food (mine too), totally appeals to me. But, I was skeptical - was this going to be pesto-ish or would the broccoli overpower the delicate but strong basil flavor?

I'm so glad I tried this recipe. It was quite enjoyable and really very flavorful. Frankly, the texture is a little different than a traditional pesto (just a little chunkier and grainier), but the flavor is really very traditional. The basil is the star here, as it should be, but the broccoli plays a strong supporting role (just not in the cooked flavor category). The real test? I had my kiddos and a friend over - all three gobbled it up with no complaints, no questions and with smiles on their faces. Sneaky, sneaky. This recipe has found a place in my home and will remain for many years! I modified the Good Housekeeping recipe just a bit.

Broccoli Pesto

1 lb broccoli florets (go for fresh here - not frozen)
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 - 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 - 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup sliced almonds or pine nuts or walnuts

Makes 2 1/3 cup.

1. Heat a large pot of water to boiling. Add broccoli florets. Cook 3-5 minutes or until crisp-tender.

2. With slotted spoon, transfer to food processor. Add basil, salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth. Add nuts.

3. With processor running, add olive oil. Add in cheese and process until smooth.

I cooked rotini (because it holds on to all sauces - cheese sauces, marinaras, pestos) and diced up some ham and sauteed it until golden brown.



  1. Thanks for posting! I just bought all the ingredients. :) I can't find the recipe in my magazine anywhere, though. July 2011 issue, right? What page?

  2. Hi Donna, it is in the July issue - it's totally snuck in on page 46 under the heading, Stealth Health. Enjoy!!

  3. Thanks! Finally found it (August issue but yes, page 46!). ;) It was a hit with my broccoli-hating husband and my little boys. :)

  4. Oh sorry - August issue! Glad you found it and that they liked it!