"Just so you know, that pesto is made with broccoli and kale," I admitted. I thought she would get really pissed off.
"Oh," she said and then paused. "Cool." And then she ran back to bed. She said "cool" like a 14-year old. It freaked me out.
Here are just some of the ways we used the Broccoli, Kale, and Walnut Pesto this week:
1. On bucatini pasta. Dash topped it with extra parmesan, olive oil, and balsamic. We tried to say bucatini 10 times fast while eating. It's hard.
2. On brussels sprouts. The pesto melts into the caramelized vegetables and makes them taste so much better than naked brussels sprouts. I know lots of people love brussels sprouts. I never have. I served Dash and Bella big bowls of this dish for dinner with crispy bacon as a spoon. Something absurdly gratifying about getting kids to eat brussels sprouts that are infused with broccoli and kale. It almost sounds like a form of torture (I guess that's why I threw in the bacon). But guess what? THEY ATE EVERY BITE.
3. As the filling for individual potato gratins layered with balsamic red onions. I baked some off and froze the rest in the ramekins in ziploc bags. See the olive oil I'm drizzling on the tart? Looks pretty but it's overkill. The pesto is full of oil so you don't need to add any additional fat to these gratins.
4. As the filling for a large potato gratin that I cut into squares and served in the middle of my squash and carrot soup. My husband pronounced it genius. And he is crazy critical of my cooking. In a useful way. I swear.
1. Purée, press, or finely chop the garlic before adding all the other ingredients so that you don't end up with chunks of garlic in the pesto.
2. If you're making any kind of green pesto (basil, cilantro, broccoli, arugula, or others), add some lemon juice to help keep it green.
3. If you're not eating it right away, pour a thin layer of olive oil on top. This will keep the surface from turning brown.
Here are the links to my other pesto recipes plus a few more ideas I'm hoping to try out soon:
- cilantro/parsley/goat cheese
- lima bean/corn
- feta/sun dried tomato
- spinach, almonds, lemon zest, manchego
- arugula, pecorino, parmesan, anchovy, lemon zest, and pine nuts
- cauliflower, parmesan, roasted garlic, orange zest, and hazelnuts
BROCCOLI, KALE, PARSLEY, AND WALNUT PESTO printable recipe
2 cups broccoli, cut into medium-sized florets and trimmed
2 cups kale, coarsley chopped
1/3 cup parsley leaves
big pinch of salt
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 lemon, juice and zest
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Steam broccoli until tender. Throw kale and parsley in with broccoli for final minute of steaming. Make a paste with the garlic and salt with a mortar and pestle or with a chef's knife on the chopping block. In a food processor or blender, place garlic paste, walnuts, olive oil, lemon juice/zest, parmesan, broccoli, kale, parsley, salt and pepper. Pulse a few times, scrape down the sides, pulse again. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Or maybe more lemon. Serve right away. Or store in a jar with a thin layer of olive oil on top to prevent browning.
CARAMELIZED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH ONIONS AND BROCCOLI, KALE AND WALNUT PESTO printable recipe
This dish is best room temperature or warm. It's great as a side dish. Or serve it as a main course in a big bowl with 2 strips of bacon over the top.
2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups brussels sprouts, cleaned, trimmed and cut in half through the stem end
big pinch of salt
1/2 yellow or white onion, diced
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 cup broccoli, kale, walnut pesto.
Put butter and olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot that has a lid. Turn heat to high and melt butter. Add brussels sprouts and onion. Add salt and pepper. Cook on high heat stirring every few minutes. You want the onions and brussels sprouts to get quite brown, maybe even to burn a bit. Turn heat to medium, add white wine and cook for one minute. Turn heat to low, put on the lid, and cook until brussels sprouts are tender (about 10 minutes). You don't want them to be raw at all for this recipe because you want the brussels sprouts to absorb a lot of the pesto. Place cooked brussels sprouts in a bowl and top with the pesto. Serve immediately with pesto spooned over the top. If you're serving it later mix the pesto in with the warm brussels sprouts so that they melt together. Warm it up on low heat before serving.
POTATO GRATIN WITH BROCCOLI/KALE PESTO AND BALSAMIC SHALLOTS printable recipe
This gratin tastes great with a salad. You can also serve a square of it in the middle of a bowl of squash and carrot soup topped with yogurt and chives. This gratin is delicious but don't be put off by the color. It can turn a bit greenish purple because of the pesto. I undercooked this twice. Carefully test the center to make sure all the potatoes are tender. Undercooked potatoes are such a bummer.
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup percorino, grated
4 shallots, peeled and sliced into thin rings
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
6-8 medium-sized yukon gold potatoes (don't use Idaho for this recipe)
1 1/2 cups broccoli, kale, walnut pesto
Preheat oven to 375º F. Butter 1 large casserole dish (about 8x12) or 6 small ones. Combine the grated cheeses. Place shallots in a bowl and pour over the balsamic. Set aside.
Peel the potatoes and place them in cold water. Warm the pesto in a double boiler if it's not freshly made (to loosen it up). Thinly slice (paper thin) the potatoes with a mandoline, a cuisinart slicer attachment, or by hand. Place half the slices into the pesto and gently mix by hand to coat the slices. Spread one layer of sliced potatoes without the pesto down in the dish, overlapping them. Sprinkle with cheeses, salt, and pepper. Spread out and overlap a layer of potatoes covered with the pesto. Place down another layer of potatoes without the pesto. Sprinkle again with cheeses, salt, and pepper. Alternate pesto, no pesto, pesto, and so on until you reach the top of the dish. Just know that the gratin will sink down a bit so do as many layers as you can and press them down a bit. Make sure the final layer doesn't have pesto. Top the gratin with with the remaining cheeses. Grate more on top if you need to. Scatter balsamic shallots over the top. Bake until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown (at least 1 hour and 15 minutes, maybe longer). Turn the oven down or cover the gratin if the top starts to burn. Serve immediately.