Make this simple broccoli leaf pesto; it will become a family favorite
Broccoli is one of those foods that people either love or hate. The majority of our family is in the love category, but we do have one hold out who maintains an anti-broccoli platform. However I think even our broccoli hater would like broccoli leaves.
Broccoli is bursting with vitamins and minerals.
It’s an excellent source of immune-boosting vitamin C, providing over 81mg, or about 135% of your daily needs. It is also an excellent source of vitamin K, important in bone health and wound healing. You’ll consume 116% of your daily recommended intake in a one-cup serving of broccoli. It’s also a very good source of the B vitamin folate, and a good source of vitamin A, manganese, potassium, and other B vitamins. (from verywellfit.com)
We go through quite a bit of that lovely green veggie. Roasted, stir fries, salad, slaw….. you name it. Our dogs LOVE the stalks. I cut them into small sticks and they chomp away. They are also delicious grated up and used for slaw or stir fry. You can buy broccoli slaw pre-shredded but if you have a food processor it’s simple to make yourself. We planted some broccoli for the first time this Fall too. But something I had never even thought about eating was broccoli leaves.
Broccoli leaves actually are a richer source of beta-carotene than either the stems or florets. While kale has more calcium, iron, and potassium, broccoli leaves win when it comes to vitamin A, which is important to vision and skin health. (according to takepart.com)
What’s extra cool about broccoli leaves gaining popularity is that it’s getting more use out of something we’re already growing!
We picked them for our Misfits Market box this week to see what we thought (look at all those beautiful veggies in that picture!). I try to choose some things that are new to use as often as I can. It’s a fun part of building our box each week. I highly recommend the service. If it’s available in your area, give a go. You can save 30% off your first box with the code COOKWME-EQ5CJS.
Well. Turns our broccoli leaves are delish in this pesto. You can also use any mixture of greens you want – kale, chard, beet greens, etc. I love making pesto with different ingredients. We also enjoy making it with lemon balm, basil, and pistachios. I’ve seen a few recipes for carrot top pesto, and I’m definitely interested in giving it a try too.
Broccoli Leaf Pesto
- 4 large broccoli leaves, torn into pieces
- Large handful of fresh basil and lemon balm
- ¾ cup toasted pine nuts
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- 3 cloves garlic
- pinch sea salt
- pinch pepper
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- olive oil
- Throw everything but the oil in the food processor and blend until well combined then drizzle in about 1/4 cup olive oil Use right away, store in fridge for several days or freeze in ice cube trays.
Use this pesto tossed on pasta, use for potato salad, roasted vegetables, chicken, salmon. Let your imagination go for it. Tonight I’m spreading the broccoli leaf pesto on chicken breasts, sprinkling with some additional Parmesan and baking at 375 for 30-40 minutes. (and serving it with roasted vegetables, broccoli included…LOL) If I had a little more time, I’d make some sourdough naan to go with it.
Have you ever used broccoli leaves?