Broccoli is a highly underappreciated vegetable – particularly the commonly discarded stems. We too often chuck the stalk into the compost without giving it a second thought. However I believe that the stem is actually the best part of a broccoli and should be the star of the show – in fact, the stems are actually sweeter than the florets!
Broccoli stems are so versatile and can be used in countless dishes. I love using them to make soups, stir fries or this flavoursome broccoli stem pesto. By using the stalks, you’re not only being frugal and conscientious – helping to minimise food waste – but you’re maximising your intake of nutrients and vitamins too!
This pesto is best enjoyed with fresh pasta or mixed into a potato salad. The broccoli stems can also be easily replaced for cauliflower or kale stems, and will deliver the same delicious result!
• 1 cup broccoli stems, chopped
• 1 cup parsley/basil with stems, packed
• ½ cup walnuts/pine nuts, toasted
• 2 garlic cloves
• ½ tsp salt
• Juice of ½ lemon
• Zest of 1 lemon
• 1/8 cup olive oil
1. Cook the broccoli stems in the microwave for 1 minute until softened, then cool.
2. Blend all the ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor until crumbly.
3. Drizzle the oil in slowly and continue to pulse until mostly smooth with a bit of texture.
4. Add extra oil if you prefer a runnier pesto.
5. Enjoy in pasta, on pizza, or in a salad. It’ll keep for about a week in the fridge.