All Fired Up!
by Margaret Howard
Pesto need not always he the classic basil variety — broccoli pesto is just as delicious. This pesto can serve as the basis of a host of different dishes, a few of which are given below.
Makes 2½ cups
• 3 cups cut-up broccoli florets and stems
• 2 cloves garlic
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 1/3 cup slivered almonds or walnuts
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 4 tsp dried
• 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Cook broccoli in boiling water, for 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain and cool.
2. In food processor, blend broccoli, garlic, oil, almonds and basil until coarsely chopped. Add cheese; process until well mixed.
Uses for Broccoli Pesto
Bruschetta: Spread Broccoli Pesto over thick slices of Italian bread. Grill for 3 minutes or until just bubbling and starting to brown. For extra color, add diced tomatoes.
Cream Cheese and Broccoli Pesto Appetizer: Cream 1 pkg light cream cheese and 1/2 cup butter or margarine until smooth. Alternately layer one-third cream cheese mixture and one-half Broccoli Pesto in plastic lined bowl, beginning and ending with cheese. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Unmold and serve at room temperature with assorted crackers. Mold smaller amounts in small custard cups and freeze for future use.
Variation: add slivers of sun-dried tomatoes between cheese and pesto layer.
Broccoli Vinaigrette: Prepare a vinaigrette dressing with 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp white wine vinegar and 1 tbsp Broccoli Pesto.
Broccoli Dip: Stir small amount of Broccoli Pesto into sour cream or plain yogurt. Serve with vegetable crudites.
Pasta: Toss small amount of Broccoli Pesto with hot cooked pasta. Sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Pesto Tomatoes: Spread Broccoli Pesto on thickly sliced tomatoes. Grill or broil until tomatoes are heated.