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Broccoli Pesto {Recipe}

Broccoli Pesto recipe from The New Blue Ridge Cookbook by Elizabeth Wiegand

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Broccoli Pesto. Photo credit: Cooks&Books&Recipes

Author Elizabeth Wiegand:

Elk Knob Farm is located near Max Patch Mountain in North Carolina, a beautiful “bald” that’s covered in spring with wildflowers and a highlight on the Appalachian Trail. Elk Knob’s Sarah and Andrew Beasley specialize in gourmet and heirloom fruits and vegetables, grown in a sustainable manner on their lovely farm. When broccoli is in abundance, Sarah recommends this recipe. It can provide a meal in several ways–as a pizza topping, as pasta sauce, or spooned over summer-ripe tomatoes.

Cooks&Books&Recipes {Dee}:

THE RECIPE. We’re not sure the recipe we picked is fully representative of the Blue Ridge area, but we had pumpkin seeds… Plus, although we’re big fans of pesto and have prepared it with many different greens, we had never made pesto with broccoli.

THE RESULT. We were very pleasantly surprised with this broccoli pesto. In fact, this is now on our “standard” recipe list for the broccoli we always seem to have at hand. One note, depending on how you like your pesto: this recipe makes a “dry” pesto. We actually prefer a not-too-oily pesto, but even so, we added more olive oil. We also threw in a splash of lemon juice. The fun surprise was the rich nuttiness of the pumpkin seeds. We reserved some of the roasted seeds to sprinkle on top (along with a few broccoli spears), which added a delightful crunch.

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Broccoli Pesto

Featured Recipe From: The New Blue Ridge Cookbook: Authentic Recipes from Virginia’s Highlands to North Carolina’s Mountains

Yield: 2 cups


  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1. Chop the broccoli stems and florets. Bring a large pot of water to boil, then add broccoli for just a minute or two to blanch. Shock in ice-cold water to stop the cooking process.

2. Puree the pumpkin seeds in a food processor. Add the cooked broccoli, Parmesan, and olive oil. Puree until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Note: Extra may be frozen.

© 2010 Morris Book Publishing

Reprinted with permission from The New Blue Ridge Cookbook: Authentic Recipes from Virginia's Highlands to North Carolina's Mountains, by Elizabeth Wiegand (Globe Pequot Press)

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