I love buying fresh herbs but always seem to forget about them and find them in the fridge a week later looking a bit sad. This is what happened the other day when, through the corner of my eye, a bunch of wilting basil peered over at me, crying out to be used.
Pesto was the obvious thing and on a whim I decided to chuck a head of broccoli in the mix, a bit random but not the worst decision I’ve ever made. The result was a pesto that’s slightly less punchy than the original but with a nice rustic texture, vibrant green colour and mild, creamy flavour. It works well as a dip or a spread but also with the usual pasta, rice or quinoa or with chicken or fish.
This recipe can be kept vegan/ vegetarian by using nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan.
1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets
100g fresh basil
2 large handfuls of rocket
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Juice of half a lemon
120-140ml Extra Virgin olive oil
50g nuts (pine nuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, which ever you fancy)
4-5 heaped tbsp grated Parmesan (or nutritional yeast for a vegan/ vegetarian option)
Steam the broccoli for 5-6 minutes until bright green and easily poked through with a fork. Immediately drain under cold water.
Put the broccoli in a food processor with the basil, rocket, garlic, lemon and 120ml of olive oil and blend until you have the consistency of pesto. Add more oil if necessary.
Add the nuts and cheese and pulse to keep a bit of texture.
Store in jars in the fridge, covered with a layer of oil.
Here it is in all it’s green glory on a chickpea flatbread…