Mean Grean - Easy pesto with broccoli
(for broccoli haters)


It's easy to forget just how easy pesto is to make. And how adaptable it is ingredient-wise.

There are all kinds of veggies, leaves and nuts you can throw in a pesto sauce, and so long as you include the winning trio of grated parmesan cheese, olive oil and pine nuts, the chances are your pesto will turn out scrummy.

easy pesto recipe broccoli

Just on this site alone we have pesto made with basil, rocket/arugula, pistachio nuts, red capsicum peppers, sun-dried toms, avocado, and macadamia nuts (all on this pesto recipes page).

Take broccoli... generally speaking I hate the stuff. Except, that is, for when it's in this pesto.

Really... if you don't like the taste of broccoli either, I'm still 100% sure you'll like this pesto. Its nutty pine seeds and smooth cheese really take the edge off the plant's taste. It's a fresh and nutrituous-tasting pasta covering but somehow without that nasty tang that always makes you pull a strange face!

Don't believe me? Try it, you'll see :-)

Love broccoli? Then definitely try it.

You'll notice a theme there! This is one pesto you should definitely give a whirl. Also because it's ready in just 10-15 minutes.

Aesthetic note: don't plan to serve this one to distinguished dinner guests though, as from a looks point of view it's appearance is more, um, 'dinosaur sneezed' than haute cuisine. (Maybe don't mention that to the kids either or else they'll never eat it!)

1-Minute Video Overview

Serves 6 (suggestion: freeze any leftover sauce)


400g/14oz 'head' of broccoli

1 garlic clove

50g/1.6oz pine nuts/seeds

25g/0.8oz parmesan cheese

5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

STEP 1 - First some very easy preparation:

- Grate the parmesan cheese.

- Peel and end the garlic clove

- Break off the brocolli 'florets' (small head parts) and chop off the very end of the main plant's stalk.

easy pesto recipe broccoli

- We'll use the rest of the stalk in this dish as it is choc-full of nutrients! Just take a sharp knife and thinly slice off its edges, as these bits are usually too hard and don't cook well. Then chop the rest into rough chunks.

easy pesto recipe broccoli

STEP 2 - Boil all the broccoli in a large pan of well-salted water for approximately 10 minutes (until you can slip a knife easily through the stalky bits).

easy pesto recipe broccoli

STEP 3 - Now as usual with easy pesto recipes, you need one piece of kitchen kit: a food processor.

- Drop in there: the cooked broccoli, pine nuts, garlic and the oil.

- Also add a flat teaspoon of salt then whiz/blend for around 30 seconds until nice and smooth.

- Finally, add the parmesan and whiz briefly again (we add this last so that it doesn't get hot and cook).

easy pesto recipe broccoli


To serve: we like our pesto smothered over short pasta shapes such as penne, rigatoni or casarecce.

If you are going for style (as much as is possible with this dish), you could also garnish each dish with a floret of extra uncooked broccoli.

Liked this easy pesto recipe? Then why not try...

• Traditional Ligurian basil pesto

• Sicilian pistachio pesto

• Our full pesto recipes collection

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