Recipe: Broccoli & Lemon Zest Pesto

Broccoli & Lemon Zest Pesto | IPOM

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 favorite. Yes, broccoli pesto it is, and it is wonderful, especially when you see what it goes with!

The Less:

Less oil-heavy sauces means fewer calories and fragmented foods. Less traditional pesto ingredients means more variety and fun ways to eat different things. Less calorie & dairy rich appetizers means lighter eats to snack on anytime, so good taste and light feelings come together.

The More:

More fiber filled broccoli means more chlorophyll and vitamins. More lemony, zesty flavor means more punchy bright taste. More pumpkin seeds & fresh herbs means more plant-based nutrition, so eating adventurously is just this good for you & healthy.

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 color from the broccoli and the best nutritional value. Broccoli pesto will keep in the fridge for several days and is delicious served with chickpea flat bread, or as a dip for crunchy crackers.

Broccoli & Lemon Zest Pesto | IPOM

In my next post, I’ll share with you the latest version of chickpea flat bread 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 favorite! 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).

Broccoli & Lemon Zest Pesto | IPOM

Stay tuned, you’ll want to make this one, I promise! Also do let me know if you’ve got any streamlining to do as a result of a (rather) full plate, and what is your first thing to let go!

  • What do you do when you feel bogged down by details?
  • Have you tried a broccoli pesto or chickpea flat bread yet?

Have a wonderful remainder to the week my friends and thank you as always for reading, for your kind comments, and your wonderful feedback on the recipes :)

Yours in (just a little) Less,

65 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Gluten Free, Photography, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Savory, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

65 Responses to Recipe: Broccoli & Lemon Zest Pesto

  1. Love your kale pesto and can hardly wait to try this one Shira. Thanks. :)

  2. Pesto is one of my FAVORITE things!!! This sounds absolutely amazing! Your photos always make my stomach growl ;)

  3. tammyheff

    Thanks for sharing. This looks delicious! Can’t wait to give it a try.

  4. That last photo has my mouth watering, Shira :-) !

  5. Looks yummy. Pesto is always a good idea :)

  6. This looks delicious – thanks for sharing! Have a Great One:)

  7. I have to try this one, and tune in for the chick pea flat bread..

  8. This looks great and I’m looking forward to the chickpea flat bread. Post it soon!!!

  9. 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

  10. 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.)

  11. 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….

    • 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

  12. With summer rapidly approaching I NEED recipes like this to get me through. I can’t wait for the chickpea flat bread either :)

  13. Reblogged this on Natural_Beauty and commented:
    Yummy Vegan Broccoli Pesto!

  14. that looks simply delicious! i’m not normally a fan of broccoli, but this looks too good not to try! :)

  15. 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. :-)

    • 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

  16. Gorgeous! It looks to have a great consistency, lovely, Shira!

  17. 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 :)

    • 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!

  18. Such a beautiful green! Looks fabulous!!

  19. Beautiful photos Shira! The pesto looks amazing and delicious.

  20. 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!

  21. Liz

    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.

    • 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!

  22. 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!

    • 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

  23. Wow this looks great…you KNOW I’m a broccoli lover so this one is being pinned to make asap!

  24. 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!

  25. This is a great twist on pesto, I lovee the broccoli addition. I also love that this is vegan friendly. One more benefit of making your own stuff!

  26. Mmm, I love broccoli and this pesto sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try it :)

  27. I always love pesto and this just looks like the best pesto recipe ever! Love the addition of broccoli and your photos are gorgeous as usual!

  28. This is such a great idea and your photos are gorgeous! So happy to have found your blog!:)

  29. I am ALL about adding fresh lemon juice to my pesto! : ) I’ve never tried adding broccoli, but that’s a nice idea, too!

  30. This looks like the perfect pesto – love it!

  31. Pingback: Recipe: Authentic Italian Chickpea Flat Bread | in pursuit of more

  32. Pingback: Love pesto with pasta? Feel like it’s a giant gut bomb? Change reality by trying this healthy Broccoli & Lemon Zest Pesto recipe | Clean Eating Fat Loss

  33. Jenna

    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

  34. Pingback: A few recipes to try out on a rainy day! | I Dont Eat Cake

  35. Alanna

    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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>