Broccoli “Pesto”


As we are in seasonal transition, it is decidedly colder here in Colorado. My tastes have been for heartier fare.  Here is a recipe to excite you about broccoli. As luck would have it, broccoli is the one vegetable that my most finicky eater like.  Of course the other two only “tolerate” it.  This dinner was a huge hit with all three!

I highly recommend that you serve this on a ridged pasta, like rotini. We enjoyed it on wide fettuccine egg noodles. My favorite boxed pasta, Barilla Plus, adds to the “stealth health” appeal that this dinner has for moms.

This pesto could also be easily worked into a warm pasta salad with some white beans, lots of freshly chopped parsley and a splash of red wine vinegar.

Pasta with Broccoli “Pesto”

1 (14.5-oz.) box Barilla Plus Pasta
1 lb. steamed broccoli
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup pasta cooking water
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
Juice from 1/2 large lemon (about 1 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup feta cheese (or Parmesan)
2 Tbsp. olive oil, more to taste

Put your pasta water on to boil. Set up your steamer and steam the broccoli.

Saute the diced onion in a little olive oil until soft. Place the still warm, steamed broccoli in the bowl of a food processor with the garlic clove and onion.  Pulse until evenly chopped. Add the pasta water, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Pulse a few times to combine.  Transfer this mixture to a small mixing bowl.  Stir cheese and olive oil into the mixture until evenly blended.

Once the pasta is cooked, place it in a warmed bowl and add the “pesto” and stir well. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.  Offer additional ground pepper and salt.

Recipe Note: To make this dinner gluten-free, substitute your favorite gluten-free pasta or toss the pesto with 1 lb. of oven roasted potatoes.

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