Pesto isn’t always about pine nuts and basil, it can be about other members of the vegetable kingdom too, as here. Broccoli is blanched then pureed with garlic, parmesan, fresh basil, and... toasted walnuts to make a super-simple nutritious sauce to toss with al dente whole-wheat pasta or to stir into rice as a condiment. Either way it’s delicious.
Bring salted water to boil in a pot. Add the broccoli and boil for 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water.
In the same pot, bring another batch of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and reserve ¼ cup of cooking liquid.
In a food processor, process the salt, garlic, and olive oil until the garlic is evenly chopped. Add the drained broccoli, walnuts, Parmesan cheese, and basil. Process until well blended with some texture remaining. Taste for seasoning.
Cover and refrigerate pesto if not using immediately. Toss the pesto with the drained pasta, adding some cooking liquid if the pesto is too thick. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This pesto is a perfect way to use frozen broccoli florets.
If you are on a low fiber diet, cut out the garlic for a 1/4 teaspoon of asafoetida, and sub out the walnuts for 2-3 tablespoons of creamy almond butter. Use on white rice or white pasta.