Broccoli and walnut pesto inspiration

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Purple sprouting broccoli is in season at the moment, and broccoli is accordingly on people’s plates. A colleague is quite a keen cook and shared what he’d done with some given to him. He roasted it (just like Smitten Kitchen’s recipe the other day!), then took the stalks and made pesto using garlic and pine nuts. Then he tossed the pesto with pasta.

Frankly, it just sounded delicious. However, I’m not a huge fan of pine nuts. I started thinking about what other flavours might work with broccoli- walnuts, cheese, sage, etc. Based on what I already had in the house, I decided to use the following to make my pesto-not-really-a-pesto sauce:

Broccoli stalks

Walnuts (raw)

Garlic

Sage

Like my colleague, I started by roasting my broccoli. It was lovely and crunchy, but the stalks weren’t as soft as I had expected them to be. Perhaps next time it’ll be better to do a low and slow roast for a while before turning up the temperature to crisp up the broccoli. I’m not sure it’s worth the risk of not getting crispy broccoli, though, because it is delicious!

While the broccoli was in the oven, I chopped up walnuts and started pounding them with butter in my mortar & pestle. (Alas, I have no food processor!) Then I chopped and added the garlic and sage.

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Once the broccoli was done, I cut off the stems and cut them into small pieces. I then added these to the rest of the pesto mixture and spent a good while pounding. Unsurprisingly, the mixture never got particularly smooth. I gave up in the end and mixed it straight into hot spaghetti.

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Result? Yummy! Like all pasta dishes, my husband topped his off with cheese. :)I will be trying this again, possibly with a little less garlic and more sage.

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