I think that spring is trying to ‘spring’ here in the UK, but I am not too sure. The sun comes out for a bit and then something scares it away. As I sit here writing this, at lunch time, the sun is shining. However we spent most of the morning engulfed in fog. Even though it is nearly May, I am loathe to ditch the opaque tights. However Britain wouldn’t be Britain without sporadic, unpredictable weather, so in many respects, this is an ordinary spring.
But it is at this time of year that we start to think about eating lighter , fresher things.
For some reason, I tend to think of broccoli as a winter vegetable. I have no idea why. It is green. When gently cooked it becomes ever greener.
So I decided it was time broccoli got a spring make-over, and I turned it into pesto.
Quick and easy to assemble, you will have it put together before the pasta has finished cooking.
I steamed the broccoli for a couple of minutes in the microwave to make it a) a little greener and b) a little softer, but you can skip this step completely and bung it straight into the food processor raw.
Garlic gives the pesto some punch, almonds provide crunch, flat leaf parsley tempers the whole thing and lemon thyme adds a zesty undertone (a little lemon zest could be used instead, but add with caution). For aesthetic reasons I used blanched almonds, but if all you have to hand is almonds with skins, then go ahead and use them.
Whizz it up with a little olive oil then stir into hot, cooked pasta and add a generous helping of cheese – either Parmesan or a tangy Cheddar – and a grind of fresh black pepper.
The perfect partner to this home-made pasta.
- 300g broccoli
- 1 garlic clove, crushed or minced
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley
- 5 stems of lemon thyme
- 50g blanched almonds
- 2 – 5 tbsp olive oil
- To serve – grated cheese and salt & pepper
- Cut the broccoli into florets, place in a microwave safe bowl, add a splash of cold water, cover and cook for a 2 minutes on full power. Carefully drain the broccoli and put in a food processor.
- Add the garlic, parsley, lemon thyme, almonds and 2 tbsps of the olive oil. Blitz on full until it forms a paste (you may need to stop the processor and scrape the sides down a couple of times). Depending on how ‘juicy’ your broccoli is, you may need to add more olive oil, but go carefully, if you add too much all you will taste is the oil.
- Stir into hot, cooked pasta, season with salt and pepper and add a generous helping of either Parmesan or Cheddar.