My friend Heather was recently visiting from Minnesota and we met up in Malibu for coffee and play time for our kids. We were discussing parenting and the issue of food came up. She was astonished when my oldest told her that his favorite foods were broccoli, cauliflower and pasta (he may have said cheeseburgers and french fries too, but I have selective hearing and chose not to hear that last bit). The thing about cauliflower and broccoli is true though. My kids fight over them. I don’t know if I could ever make enough. They even love to eat it raw, without dressing or anything (I’m telling you… this is way not normal). Anyway, when I ran across a recipe in the New York Times for Broccoli Pesto, I thought that it might be a promising dinner prospect. In my family you can never go wrong if cruciferous vegetables and pasta are involved (gluten-free pasta, of course… quinoa pasta is my favorite). The recipe was extremely easy and it could be a way to get your kids to eat broccoli if they don’t like the texture of florets (broccoli is not only full vitamins, it is loaded with protein). This was a big hit with all of the adults in the family as well and it makes great leftovers (especially cold). This has quickly become a family favorite.
Via Martha Rose Shulman for the New York Times
½ pound broccoli florets
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup basil leaves, tightly packed
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Steam broccoli for 6 minutes so that it is tender, but still bright green.
Rinse the broccoli under cold water so that it stops cooking and allow it to drain completely.
Add the broccoli, garlic and basil to a food processor and pulse until everything is finely chopped.
Once everything is chopped, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Turn on the food processor and slowly stream in the olive oil.
Scrape down the sides again and add the salt, pepper and Parmesan. Pulse until combined.
Serve as a dip of toss with 1 pound of pasta.