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Oil-Free Broccoli Pesto

I have a bit of a problem on my hands.

You see, I’m suddenly addicted to this pesto.

I’ve prepared two batches this week alone, and have not only enjoyed it for dinner each night, but have also found myself dunking cucumber slices, carrot sticks, and, occasionally, even my finger, into the bowl every time I walk by my fridge.

Garlic must be seeping out of my pores by now.

Gently steamed broccoli adds texture and volume to this lighter version, without the use of nuts and oils commonly found in traditional pesto recipes. By omitting the nuts, you can enjoy some freshly shredded Pecorino Romano cheese (often made of sheep’s milk) generously sprinkled throughout, while still keeping your meal properly combined when served over spaghetti squash or spiralized veggie noodles.

The best part? This sauce only takes 15 minutes to make.

Oil-Free Broccoli Pesto
makes about 2 cups

Inspired by this recipe

Ingredients:

2 heaping cups broccoli florets (about 8 oz.)
1 cup fresh basil, tightly packed
2 cloves garlic, about 1 tsp. minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (half a lemon)
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 oz. shredded sheep Pecorino Romano (about 1/2 cup)

Directions:

Steam broccoli for about 6 minutes, until it’s slightly tender but still bright green.

While the broccoli is steaming, toss the two garlic cloves (three, if you’re a garlic lover like me) into a food processor, and process until minced– the pieces should stick to the sides of the bowl.

To the minced garlic, add the fresh basil, lemon juice, salt, water, and freshly steamed broccoli. Process well, pausing to scrape down the bowl as needed.

Add in the shredded cheese, then process until desired texture is achieved.

This cheese is incredibly salty, which adds a huge punch of flavor to the pesto! (If you decide to omit it– for whatever crazy reason– be sure to add extra salt to your sauce.)

Adjust the seasonings to your taste, then serve as a bright dip with sliced veggies, or toss with your favorite pasta!

I must say, it’s amazing over baked spaghetti squash.

But, then again, I think it’s delicious in any form. Pass me a spoon!

Oil-Free Broccoli Pesto
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
 
Gently steamed broccoli adds texture and volume to this tasty pesto, without the use of nuts and oils commonly found in traditional recipes.
Ingredients
  • 2 heaping cups broccoli florets (about 8 oz.)
  • 1 cup fresh basil, tightly packed
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (half a lemon)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1½ oz. shredded sheep Pecorino Romano (about ½ cup)
Instructions
  1. Steam broccoli for about 6 minutes, until it's slightly tender but still bright green.
  2. While the broccoli is steaming, toss the garlic cloves into a food processor, and process until minced-- the pieces should stick to the sides of the bowl.
  3. To the minced garlic, add the fresh basil, lemon juice, salt, water, and freshly steamed broccoli. Process well, pausing to scrape down the bowl as needed.
  4. Add in the shredded cheese, then process until desired texture is achieved.
  5. Adjust the seasonings to your taste, then serve as a bright dip with sliced veggies, or toss with your favorite pasta!
Notes
Pecorino Romano is a very salty cheese, which adds a huge punch of flavor to the pesto. If you decide to omit it-- for whatever crazy reason-- be sure to add extra salt to your sauce.

Hope you all enjoy this pesto as much as I do! :)

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