in pursuit of more

living with just a little less

Broccoli & Lemon Zest Pesto

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

Life really is a funny thing. As we move forward (which we inevitably have to), it is certainly impossible to know what might inspire us from day-to-day, week to week, and so on. It could be a conversation over lunch, or a person you haven’t seen for years that suddenly pops into your life. It could be a season, or the way you feel after spending quality time outdoors in the fresh air.

I know that for me, I am happiest and most inspired when I’ve got a full, balanced plate in front of me. Pardon the corny food metaphor, but it’s just so apt! Not too much, and not too little. Just the right amount. Having too much (of anything) can certainly cause a feeling of being bogged down. The goal (for me anyways) is always to find some sort of precarious balance and this week, I am finding much strength in looking at ways to further embrace the philosophy and idea behind this blog.

Less is always more (except when it isn’t). Simple & easy might rule around here for a while, as we kick off our next set of NSF cooking classes (pumped!) which are just around the corner. Stay tuned for an update on what we are doing next week as we finalize the recipes, write the ingredient lists, and round-up the best volunteers in the whole entire world (love you guys!).

Of course, we’ll also get to some really great recipes too. Lots of them, in fact! Starting with this amazing version of a popular favourite. Yes, broccoli pesto it is, and it is wonderful, especially when you see what it goes with!

Broccoli & Lemon Zest Pesto | IPOM

Broccoli & Lemon Zest Pesto:

(1) broccoli floret, washed and chopped (about 2 – 2.5 cups chopped)
(1/3) cup pumpkin seeds
(1) clove garlic (optional)
(1) tsp salt
(4) tbsp lemon juice
(1) tsp lemon zest
(2) tbsp olive oil
(3/4) cup fresh parsley
(1/4) cup fresh basil leaves

Start by putting up some water to boil in a small saucepan and steam the broccoli for 2-3 minutes until bright green and tender, but not mushy. Once cooked, remove the broccoli from the heat and set aside.

Roast the pumpkin seeds in a 350-degree oven for 2-3 minutes until turning brown and fragrant. Prepare the lemon juice, lemon zest, & fresh herbs and set aside. Once the seeds are toasted, remove from the oven and add them directly to the blender warm with all of the prepared ingredients. The mixture might need some agitation with a spatula to get going but should get going to a nice bit of pureeing in little time. Blend on high until well mixed and bright green.

Serve within a day or two to ensure the best colour of the broccoli and the best nutritional value. Broccoli pesto will keep in the fridge for several days and is delicious served with chickpea flatbread, or as a dip for crunchy crackers. In my next post, I’ll share with you the latest version of chickpea flatbread that has won my heart for good.

Since our return from France in August (and the recipes I brought home from Provence), I’ve had the pleasure to try a many of these, and this one is so far my favourite! So stay tuned for an easy, filling, and nutritious version of what is fast becoming a popular food here at home (and for very good reason).

70 responses to “Broccoli & Lemon Zest Pesto

  1. I’ll be making this for sure Shira. (for sure Shira – try saying that five times fast!) This sounds Wonderful! But I may be waiting till that chickpea flatbread comes out! (please hurry!) The very best of luck getting the NSF classes off, and much joy for you and the volunteers as you do!! xx

  2. Perfect timing, Shira! I was looking for a new shindig dip. I love the color! Adding pumpkin seeds is great idea. T. (Yes, I plan to give this one a shot. I also love the bottom photo. The lighting is gorgeous.)

  3. I want to try both! I love this pesto, heavy on the veg and easy on the oil. Can’t wait for the chickpea flat bread, I still haven’t made your last chickpea bread….

    1. I think this is the chickpea one you want Somer..though they are both amazing! 🙂 I was really happy with the way the broccoli made easy work of blending sans oil – so much lighter! X

  4. Lovely Shira – After my kale-athon week, I was seriously considering some of your ABSOLUTELY scrummy kale pesto, but now I have an even better alternative. I will be whipping up a batch of this over the weekend. Can’t wait.

    Thanks possum!

    Hope you’re all good up there in your corner of the world and your plate is balanced just right for you. 🙂

    1. My pleasure lovely J! I am not sure it will beat the kale pesto (that one is just SO good), but it is wonderfully different and refreshing!
      All is well here (thanks!) … just quite busy this month with all the goings on, many projects all colliding at once into a beautiful, challenging mess! It won’t be forever, at least I don’t think it will 🙂 Hope you are well too! X

  5. Shira, I have never had broccoli pesto, but I’m going to try your recipe…I have all the ingredients on hand, including some pumpkin seeds that I’ve been meaning to roast since Halloween! I don’t usually eat a lot of pesto because of all the oil in it, but this recipe looks so light and healthy 🙂

    1. I hope it turns out Maura – keep us posted! Come to think of it, this would be yummy on homemade bread out of the oven too! 🙂 Great timing since you have everything!

  6. I seriously love your shares more and more Shira!
    Just a little present to show my appreciation, I know it is in italian and I’ll soon translate it to make it much more understandable, but I am proud of choosing your blog for 2 awards 🙂
    Best of all, with less!

  7. This summer, I made pesto out of anything green in my CSA box! My favorite was a pea pesto that had sunflower seeds and lemon zest/juice with the peas. All to say that I really loved the lemon addition.

    Another that is very much looking forward to the chickpea flatbread post. I’ve made a number of chickpea flour bread/crust things and ok but not as scrumptious looking as yours.

    1. Wonderful – thanks Liz! I love the sound of that pesto too and the lemon zest addition is new for me, it’s so delicious! Flat Bread recipe coming up!

  8. Aw, you folks make such a lovely crew! I’ve been feeling completely weighed down lately, with things and (I think consequently) even my food choices. Today marks the beginning of a fun lifestyle where it’s back to basics–I’ve always loved eating simply but fully, and I don’t know why I’d ever have to give that up just because things are so busy around here. Thank you for the inspiration here!

    1. My most sincere pleasure! I love light in all forms and it is a word I channel often to stay focused on what brings me happiness 🙂 Love and light are two of the MOST important keys IMO! Best of luck on your quest too wallflourgirl! XO

  9. Oh my goodness, I make a broccoli pesto sits identical to this except without pumpkin seeds! Yummy! I bet that adds a nice depth of flavor. I will have to try that next time I make my pesto!! The photos are beautiful too!

  10. Wow this is delicious! Just made a batch to try and me and my baby just finished the lot for lunch, off to get more broccoli! Yummy

  11. Thanks for this recipe, cant wait to try it. Never thought of using pumpkin seeds instead of nuts in pesto, this is terrific as I work in a nut free zone! Its definitely going with the chickpea flat bread, thanks again.

  12. I love this broccoli recipe for- Another reason to eat yet more broccoli. The combination of basil with my favorite veggie is new to me but other recipes will see it added to.

  13. I had my doubts when I read this recipe as I am not a big fan of broccoli, although I eat it because of its nutrients. I am at present on the Daniel Fast and have just made it. It is absolutely divine! Will eat it with socca.
    Thanks for this lovely recipe

  14. Hi there – about to try this receipy as it sounds faboulous. Do you think it’ll keep well in the freezer? Thank you!

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