This Broccoli Pesto was just one recipe for a week filled with broccoli. It is a powerhouse vegetable and the chef wondered if she could eat broccoli every day for a week; just in different forms.

Broccoli pesto2Prep Time: 20 min
Chill Time: 2 hrs
Ready In: 2hrs 20 min

Servings: Makes 1 cup of pesto, enough for 8 to 12 crostini or as a dip with sliced raw vegetables such as carrots and red, orange or yellow bell peppers.

2 cups Broccoli Florets, stem removed
1 to 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
½ cup Basil Leaves, lightly packed
¼ cup Walnuts
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3 to 4 tbsp Extra-virgin Olive Oil
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt, if desired

Place the broccoli, garlic, basil and nuts in a food processor or blender. Add 4 or 5 grinds of pepper. Puree until the broccoli is finely ground but still grainy.
With the motor running, drizzle in just enough of the oil to make the mixture spreadable and soft enough to use as a dip. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and blend 15 seconds longer. Transfer the pesto to a bowl.
Mix in the cheese and season to taste with salt, if desired. Cover tightly and refrigerate 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld. This pesto keeps up to 2 days if stored tightly covered in the refrigerator.
To use with crostini, spread 1 to 2 tablespoons pesto on each slice of grilled or toasted bread (preferably whole-wheat Italian).

Tips & Notes
Alternating broccoli with other cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, cabbage, kale, collard greens and Brussels sprouts assures a wider assortment of the health-protective phytochemicals that make this family of vegetables so valuable.
The chef made a soup, a stir-fry, a casserole, a salad, a quesadilla, a drink and a dip.
For the soup, on a hot day she tossed a cup of broccoli florets into the pot while making the classic cold soup, vichyssoise. The result was pale green, creamy and refreshing.
The stir-fry combined sweet red pepper, black beans and shiitake mushrooms with a bottled peanut sauce on hand. For the casserole, she added frozen broccoli to a favorite tuna-noodle casserole, making it a more complete one-dish meal.
After these dishes, wanting to be more creative. For a salad, she started with canned salmon and added generous amounts of finely-chopped raw vegetables including broccoli, celery, green pepper, parsley, scallions and red onion plus lemon juice and olive oil. This succulent salad was so good it has become a regular dish.
On the fourth day, not wanting to see broccoli again, she sneaked some chopped steamed broccoli into a corn-and-mushroom quesadilla. It was good, and was glad that that she could barely taste the broccoli.
The next day, using a juicer, she made a vitamin-rich cocktail by pureeing spinach, celery, cucumber, parsley and broccoli stems; then added both pineapple and lime juices. It was emerald green and delicious.
For the last day, she created this Broccoli Pesto for a dip, but it is thick enough to be spread on crostini. It also is excellent mixed with warm whole-wheat pasta or brown rice.

Nutritional Info Per (1 tbsp) Serving
Calories: 43
Total Fat: 4g
Saturated Fat: less than 1g
Carbohydrate: less than 1g
Protein: 1g
Dietary Fiber: less than 1g
Sodium: 22mg

Source: Diabetic Gourmet Magazine

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