Pretty much anything green can be comfortably pesto-ed, don’t ya think? In this case, broccoli pesto is born from the awkward broccoli stems that so often get thrown away or composted.
As it happens, they have a great texture for pesto! And the taste sits really nicely alongside loads of lemon juice and lemon zest, fresh herbs and garlic. No cheese, folks! This one’s totally vegan.
I’ve tried this with basil, and then again with both basil and cilantro (aka fresh coriander) and I definitely prefer the combination. I think a basil and parsley combo would work well too. See what you’ve got available, throw in a good few handfuls of green herbs and it can’t go too wrong.
This takes less than half an hour to put together which is pretty good going. Proving once again that pasta is the perfect dinner (as if I needed any more convincing!)
Lemon & Broccoli Pesto Pasta
Yield 3 -4 servings
For the pesto
- 2 raw broccoli stems, chopped into large pieces
- 1/3 cup pine nuts (you can round this to 5 Tblsps if you're not a measuring cup kind of household)
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Bunch of fresh herbs (I like a combo of basil and cilantro)
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
For the pasta
- 350g / 12oz bucatini or another pasta of your choice
- Broccoli florets (everything left from the two heads of broccoli you de-stemmed for the pesto)
- Sundried or semi-dried tomatoes, for garnish
- Make the pesto by combining all of the ingredients in a food processor or mini chopper. (I usually start by pulsing the broccoli stems, pine nuts and garlic a few times before adding in the liquid ingredients and herbs.)
- Boil pasta according to package instructions, adding the broccoli florets to the pan 2-3 minutes before the pasta is ready.
- Drain pasta and broccoli and return to the pan.
- Add the pesto and stir through over a very low heat.
- Serve topped with sundried tomatoes.
I made this with two fairly small heads of broccoli - if yours are large, just use one.