We’re late in harvesting basil this year, and stretched the small amount left in the garden by putting it up as Broccoli Pesto. The unexpected addition of fall-sweetened broccoli from Black Kettle Farm to the classic combination of basil, garlic and parmesan boosts the color and texture, and adds an extra wallop of nutrition. While this pesto can be enjoyed fresh, we especially like this as an alternative to freezing broccoli on its own.
This recipe can be easily halved or doubled, and the ingredients altered to suit your own taste. We blanched the broccoli, though it can also be left raw, as could the pine nuts. The lemon juice helps to preserve the emerald green color, and adds a bit of tang to balance the richness of the pesto. Use this as you would regular basil pesto, though we found it equally delicious spooned straight from the jar.
4 cloves garlic
6 cups broccoli, florets and peeled stems, chopped and blanched
2 cups fresh basil leaves
2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup good olive oil
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– Place garlic cloves in a food processor and pulse until chopped. Add broccoli, basil, pine nuts, lemon juice, sea salt and olive oil, and pulse until finely chopped. Add cheese at end, and pulse to mix. Adjust seasoning.
– Pack into freezer containers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Makes 6 half-pint jars.
Adapted from “The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving” by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard.
Local ingredients: Broccoli from Black Kettle Farm; garlic and basil from the garden.