Long gone are the days when pesto meant only the classic Italian sauce of basil, garlic, walnuts and olive oil (yes, walnuts, not pine nuts). Now, you may add this simple, oil free, fast, inexpensive, nutritious and delicious recipe to your pesto repertoire using broccoli!
This recipe is enough for two people and can easily be scaled up. It also keeps well in a lidded glass jar for about five days.
- one small bunch of broccoli, roughly chopped – include the stems! Just cut off the hard outer layer and use the inner core
- 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup cashews (or other nut of your preference)
- 1/2 cup water for soaking the cashews
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (pink or other of your preference)
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- a small bunch of parsley, chopped including stems
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 Tablespoon tahini
- black pepper to taste
Start by soaking the nuts for at least an hour. If you have a high speed blender, soaking becomes less essential. Reserve the soaking water.
Blanch the broccoli and the stems in boiling (roiling boil) for about 10 seconds. They will become very green, almost neon. Drain and set aside.
In a high speed blender or food processor, combine the broccoli, nuts, nut soaking water and the rest of the ingredients. Blend until you achieve a creamy consistency.
If you will be using the sauce right away, then it will be warm enough. If it has cooled down too much for your liking, then just pour it back into a saucepan and heat lightly over medium heat, making sure you do not burn the bottom.
Use the broccoli pesto for pasta, gnocchi or even as a dip for bread or crackers. It is delicious anyway you use it.
Here, I have combined the sauce with two or three dried tomatoes that I rehydrated and tossed the lot with spaghetti.
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