This recipe came about after suddenly producing a lot of broccoli in my vegetable garden – they all grew at the same time and suddenly I had to get imaginative with broccoli recipes! I wondered if I could make it into a pesto so I started browsing the web. Wouldn’t you know it, people have done it. Though most of the recipes I found used cooked broccoli, whereas I’d much rather get the health benefits of using raw broccoli. I then discovered Green Kitchen Stories used raw broccoli in a pesto so I knew it could be done!
The best part about this recipe is that it’s an excellent veggie smuggling food for kids. I actually got the “Mmmmm” sound out of my 15 month old with this recipe! Broccoli is also one of those super veggies – it’s packed full of antioxidants (which help prevent cancer), potassium (which helps maintain a healthy nervous system), magnesium, calcium, and as it contains a large amount of soluble fibre it helps reduce cholesterol.
Pesto is also a versatile food to make. You can stir it through pasta, put it on toast with eggs or in a sandwich, use it as a dip with veggie sticks. This recipe yields a small bowlful. I used half to make enough pasta for four adults (I added some sundried tomatoes and crumbled feta), and there was enough leftover for sandwiches for a few days.
You will need:
- A food processor, blender (or thermomix)
- 1 large broccoli (around 2 cups chopped)
- 50g of parmesan or pecorino
- A handful of basil
- ½ lemon juiced
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ½ cup of walnuts and hazelnuts (or any mix you have)
- ½ cup of olive oil (or more)
- Place your broccoli into ice cold water and let it sit. Because this recipe uses raw broccoli you might want to check it for bugs first and putting it into icy water usually sorts that out. My broccoli is straight out of the garden and I don’t use any pesticides, so I often find caterpillars or tiny bugs inside!
- If your parmesan is whole, place it into your blender/food processor and blend until it resembles fine crumbs and then set aside.
- Now place the broccoli, basil, garlic and nuts in and blend until well blended.
- Now place the parmesan, olive oil and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Add more olive oil until you reach your desired consistency.
These little hands didn’t have the patience to use a fork – it was too yummy!