Brooklyn's Belly: Choppin' Broccolee

On the same day we picked up our CSA I saw that Saveur had Twittered a link to a what seemed like quite a delish broccoli recipe. Coincidence? I think not… Kitchenist, a fellow food blogger, was featuring a beautiful broccoli pesto puree, which gave me a pretty major ‘Aha’ moment. Now, I’ve made pesto with basil (the original) and I’ve made it with Spinach – I’ve even substituted pine nuts with chick peas, but I have never, ever entertained the thought of making pesto with broccoli. In a flash I forwarded the link to Bryan and asked him to pick up some feta on the way home, for this will be dinner tonight!

He got home before I did, and as he likes to do, he already started cooking. “No feta,” he said. “It’s extra saltiness you don’t need, we have plenty of Parmesan to do the trick.” So he followed the recipe all except for the feta. 1/4 cup each olive oil and parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 cup pine nuts (or chick peas), juice of one lemon and a pinch of good salt. Boil or steam one head of broccoli cut into florets for 3-4 minutes, immerse in cold water to stop cooking, and when cooled blend all the ingredients.

We cooked some Israeli couscous (our personal fave) in stock, sauteed up a handful of cremini mushrooms and chopped cauliflower (from the CSA) in garlic, olive oil, and chopped fennel. Added a touch of chopped fresh cilantro to the couscous and we were ready to go. Onto the plate went the couscous and veggie saute and on top we ladled very healthy portions of the broccoli pesto.

Now, let me tell you how freaking good this pesto is. It’s cheesy, and creamy with just the right amount of kick, layered on top of that distinct but subtle broccoli flavor. And with the cauliflower and fennel there was really great texture. A whole world of possibilities opened up! How delicious would this be over whole wheat pasta? On bruschetta? Or how about a cauliflower pesto instead?

For the full recipe click here:

And please, let me know how it turns out!!
Signing off, BB.

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