"Oh my god, this is soooo so good!" "Great! I'm glad you like it. It's mostly broccoli and walnuts, so I was kind of worried that you wouldn't." "Geeeeezzze, don't tell me that!"
Who says pesto can't be cheap, lower in calories, and seriously delicious...all while still being vegan? I say that it can and it shall be.
If you have trouble getting your family members (husband included) to eat broccoli, this is your dish. Straight up. When Todd got home from work, I told him we were having pasta for dinner. This is usually pretty exciting because we don't tend to eat it very often.
Then, he walked into the kitchen and saw a giant bowl of broccoli. His face melted from delight to what can best be described as that of a kid who tore open a present on Christmas morning only to find a crocheted tie from Aunt Gladys. Disappointed and a bit bamboozled.
He self-proclaims that he's "not-big-on-broccoli". That it's not really his thing. Well, four servings later, one for me and three for Todd...I ended up surrendering a big bowl of the pesto pasta to Todd for his lunch. I brought a PB&J to work. Best wife ever? Dang, now I really want some of that pesto!
This creamy pesto, lightened up by using a smaller amount of oil gets it's zing from lemon juice and miso. Pine nuts, move over because walnuts are taking center stage here. And for real, fresh basil in Alaska in January can be hard to come by. Plus, I'm not a bajillionaire. Broccoli it is!
Broccoli Walnut Pesto
- 1 large head of broccoli, florets only
- dash of salt
- 16 oz. of dry pasta
- dash of salt
- Pesto Sauce:
- 1/3 cup of walnuts, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, whole
- 1 Tbsp. fresh basil paste or small handful of fresh basil (optional)
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. walnut oil (olive oil will work, too)
- 1 Tbsp. miso paste
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
Notes: Be sure to reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water for the pesto sauce.
Start by bringing a medium pot of salted water to boil. Chop off the broccoli florets and once the water is boiling, place them in the water. Allow them to boil for about 3 minutes. Then, remove the florets with a slotted spoon and submerge in a large bowl of cold water. Allow to rest in the water until ready for use.
Keep that water boiling and add another dash of salt. Add the dry pasta and cook according to package. I like to use a pasta that is dense and sturdy, so it can stand up to being stirred with the pesto. Once the pasta is al dente, strain, but not completely. Leave about 1/2 cup of pasta water at the bottom, with the noodles. Place the pot of noodles aside until ready to use.
In a food processor, combine all the pesto sauce ingredients and process until it's reached a fine consistency. There will be a lot of scraping down the sides of the bowl, but it's a small price to pay.
Listening to Portugal. The Man – Modern Jesus