Traditional pesto is made with fresh basil. Broccoli replaces basil in this version, giving the pesto the same beautiful green color and an even healthier result. We served it on baguette slices; it's also great tossed with hot cooked pasta. It also makes a nice base for pizza.
1 (12-oz.) bag fresh broccoli florets, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Garnish: toasted pine nuts
Toasted or grilled baguette slices
How to Make It
Place broccoli in a large bowl; cover with heavy-duty plastic wrap. Microwave at HIGH 8 minutes or until broccoli is tender. Drain and transfer broccoli to a food processor.
While broccoli cooks, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; sauté 2 minutes until garlic is lightly browned. Add garlic mixture, Parmesan cheese, and next 4 ingredients to food processor; process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. Garnish, if desired. Serve pesto with baguette slices.
We had this with pasta, and at first thought it was ho-hum, but then my husband had seconds and put a greater proportion of pesto on, and it was much tastier. The pesto is very creamy, and doesn't taste too strongly of broccoli; mostly notes of lemon and garlic and cheese (definitely cook the garlic and pepper in the olive oil first for good flavor!). We topped the pasta/pesto with pine nuts and sprinkles of crushed red pepper. I would make it again, and I plan on using the leftovers as a spread on pizza tomorrow.
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