Saturday, November 24, 2012

Quickie Broccoli Pesto made it through Thanksgiving and have just crossed the threshold into Holiday Land.

Or in my case, tech. 

For those of you who aren't familiar with the term "tech," it's the week before a show opens when all of the fabulous production elements come together.  Not only do the actors have to remember their lines, music, and choreography, they must do so while dealing with costumes, lights, sound, and a band.  And really long rehearsal days.

So now is the time to have a plan for a healthy and fast meal.

Broccoli Pesto is super fast, super filling, and super tasty.  And, this recipe makes a ton so you can nibble on it throughout your hectic week.

By the way...If you are in Chicago this holiday season, come see "We Three Liza's" at the Steppenwolf Garage!  I'm the one in purple.

Broccoli Pesto

Blanching the garlic mellows out that intense raw flavor while still snazzing up the broccoli.  Mix it up with some quinoa, spread it on sandwiches, or thin it with a little bit of water and serve it over pasta.

3 heads broccoli
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup almonds
4 Tbl olive oil
2 1/2 Tbl red wine vinegar
3/4 cup fresh basil
salt 'n pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cut broccoli into florets and chop stems into 1" chunks.  Once the water boils, add broccoli, garlic, and almonds.  Cook until broccoli is tender but still a vibrant green, about 5-7 minutes.

Drain broccoli and reserve 1/3 of the florets, placing them in an ice bath to shock the veggies and stop the cooking process.

Place remaining broccoli, garlic, and almonds in a food processor with basil and 1/4 cup water.  Puree mixture until relatively smooth, adding just enough oil to help things along.  Adjust seasoning to taste.  

Pesto will keep in the refrigerator covered for five days.


  1. Excellent timing - I just bought a bag o' broccoli that will be needing to be cooked this week and this looks excellent. Three quick questions:

    1. Do you really boil the garlic and almonds with the broccoli?

    2. Are you blanching all of the broccoli after you drain, or just the 1/3 that you reserve? (Assuming the reserved florets are for garnish, no?)

    3. Does the vinegar go in the food processor with the basil, et al - that's part of the adjusting the seasoning to taste, right?

    You are killing with the veggie recipes lately. Keep it up...

  2. Edit to above - I just saw your explanation about blanching the garlic. Never mind. (Still curious about the other stuff, though.)