Charred broccoli pesto

Briefly steaming the charred broccoli helps retain its green colour.
Briefly steaming the charred broccoli helps retain its green colour.  Photo: Katrina Meynink
Difficulty
Easy
Dietary
Vegetarian

I love to drop this one off with a few serving options – it's great stirred through some cooked burghul or scrambled eggs as much as it is over pasta. Leftovers elevate any sandwich and it can sit unloved (but covered) in the fridge for several days.

Ingredients

2 tbsp plus ½ cup olive oil, or more as needed

1 head of broccoli, trimmed, roughly chopped into florets

¼ cup vegetable stock

½ cup pine nuts, toasted

3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

handful basil leaves

handful flat-leaf parsley

Method

1. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and place over medium-high heat. Add the chopped broccoli and cook for 4-6 minutes or until charred in spots. Try not to move the broccoli, you want colour on the heat-exposed spots, not an even all-over browning.

2. Add the stock and cover the pan with a lid, this will briefly steam the broccoli to lock in the colour. Cook until the stock has evaporated, this should only take another minute or 2.

3. Allow to cool slightly then add to a blender with the remaining ingredients and remaining ½ cup of olive oil and briefly blitz – there should still be some chunks through it. If it seems too dry, add a little more oil.

4. Toss through some pasta and add some fresh basil leaves to serve. If delivering to friends, keep the elements separate so the recipient can assemble it fresh, with minimal effort and time.

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