Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Broccoli Pesto

I've got a fever, and the only cure is...MORE PESTO!  I've gotta have pesto, baby!  Ever since my Cilantro Pesto escapades, I've been obsessed with making it in just about any form I can.  We're talking, "I can't live if living is without you!!!!" levels of pesto obsession.  So last night, this past week's broccoli made its way into a new batch of pesto with delicious results.  You can't taste the broccoli in it, so this is an excellent way to sneak more veggies into your family's food without them having to actually eat the happy little trees.  This recipe makes a lot, and by a lot I mean after tossing about a cup of pesto with my pasta, I still have a full pint jar full of pesto.  Oh the possibilities!  Or maybe just hand me a spoon...

Broccoli Pesto

1 cup roasted, unsalted almonds
2-3 cups basil leaves
1 cup olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
6-8 cloves garlic (depending on how much garlic punch you like)
4 Tbsp lemon juice
1 head of broccoli, florets trimmed and blanched
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
Pasta of your choice

In a pot bring water to boil and add broccoli florets.  Allow to blanch for 3 minutes or until broccoli is not longer bright green and has stopped floating on top.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place directly into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.  Rinse out pot, and refill with water (or use same water if you don't mind an extra broccoli flavor to the pasta), bring to boil and add pasta to cook to package directions.

In a food processor, add your almonds, basil, olive oil, garlic and lemon. Blend until smooth.  Strain your broccoli out of the ice water and add to food processor.  Add salt and blend until fully smooth, taste and adjust any lemon juice, garlic or salt, as needed.

This makes A LOT of pesto, so half the recipe if you don't want the leftovers.  As you really only use about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of pesto to toss with your pasta.  Add a few more glugs of olive oil when tossing with pasta to keep everything from sticking, and adjust with a pinch or two of salt.

With the remaining pesto, keep in an air tight container and use instead of mayo on some BLT's, toss with some roasted potatoes and olive oil for a fragrant side dish, or use as an appetizer spread on crostini with cheese and meats.

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