During the holidays, I pulled out the Southern Living Christmas 2007 cookbook that my mother and father-in-law gave me for Christmas last year. As soon as I pulled it out, I regretted that I had it stashed away during the year. Yes, this cookbook (and I am assuming each year’s edition) has many holiday recipes in it suitable for entertaining a large crowd on a special day, but it also has tons of great recipes that could be used all year round. As I looked through it for my cookie recipe that I needed that day, I flagged some pages that had recipes on them that I wanted to try.
Today, I pulled it out to look for a cookie bar recipe. Although I didn’t end up choosing a cookie bar recipe from the book, I did run across one of my flagged recipes, the one for Broccoli Pesto. I love pesto. I love it on bread, tossed with pasta, on my pizza, as a condiment, etc. This variation, using broccoli instead of basil, really intrigued me. I love basil, but thought the idea of using broccoli was interesting. It has the same pretty color and is even healthier than regular pesto. I made it to bring to a Superbowl party this afternoon, and I plan on stashing some aside to make pizza with this week. The cookbook suggests either spreading it on a crusty baguette, tossing it with hot, cooked pasta or using in place of (or in addition to) red sauce on a pizza.
Although I am taking it with me this afternoon, I felt it was my responsibility to give it a taste test before I subjected everyone to it. Oooooh, it is yummy. This one will be served at my house often. It was very quick and easy to make, too (as long as you have a food processor).
12 oz 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 finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (to toast, I just put them in the skillet after I emptied out the garlic mixture and cooked over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring now and then. As my food network junkie husband told me, they’ll let you know when they are done… when they become fragrant).
1/3 cup chicken broth (or veggie to make vegetarian)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Garnish: toasted pine nuts
Toasted or grilled baguette slices
Place broccoli in a large bowl; cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high 8 minutes, or until tender. (Be careful of the steam when you take it out! Pierce the plastic wrap first to allow the steam to escape. I have burnt myself on steam before and hurt worse than any other burn I’ve given myself). Drain and transfer to a food processor.
While broccoli cooks, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; saute 2 minutes or 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.
Yield: 2 cups
1 tablespoon = 49 calories and 3.4 grams of fat