My better half wanted to make pesto – in particular, a creamy pesto with broccoli. I told her pesto needs to have pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and basil leaves for it to be properly called pesto but she showed me a recipe and talked me out of using the nuts. I won out on the cheese and basil though – we actually have a nice herb garden with basil leaves.
…so that’s what we did over the weekend. I must say it’s quite a success, although this isn’t a traditional pesto with pine nuts but more like a creamy broccoli sauce.
This is actually from a recipe that we adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
There’s a head of broccoli that’s starting to turn yellow so we steamed that for about 10 minutes and cut the crown into florets. I chopped the stem almost down to the head. I *did not* use the stems at all, some recipes call for that, I only use the broccoli florets.
This is what we put into the food processor:
- 1 small broccoli
- 2 cloves raw garlic
- 50 ml heavy thickened cream
- 3 heaped tablespoons of Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Parmesan cheese
- Basil leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
I would say the most important thing in that creamy broccoli pesto sauce is the garlic. It’s no good without the garlic! I almost forgot to put it in.
Our herb garden is just starting to flower so we just picked a few fresh basil leaves to throw inside the food processor. I pulsed everything and processed it for about 30 seconds until all the ingredients were meshed well together.
This is our first attempt in doing this so we just cooked some linguine and tossed it with our home-made creamy broccoli pesto.
The linguine was mixed with a huge chunk of butter. I reckon that since there’s olive oil in the pesto sauce, the pasta would taste better with butter. It did! We also had a simple poached egg with the pasta dish.
It tasted really good! The heavy cream combined with the Greek yogurt makes a very nice base for the interesting textural experience of having millions of tiny broccoli florets rubbing against your tongue with every bite. The creamy pesto paste isn’t too heavy and rich either – we were surprised to find out it’s actually very light.
It’s not a traditional pesto but I’m keen to do one next time with our own basil leaves and some toasted pine nuts. As for this creamy broccoli pesto, it’s simple and delicious, a wonderful alternative to the heavier pasta sauces we’ve been using lately!