Easy Broccoli Pesto

I adore pesto. I don’t, however, enjoy spending $40/pound for pine nuts….only to have them burn while “lightly toasting” them – argh!

While traditional pesto is certainly delicious, I welcome alternatives that are a little more economical, without sacrificing taste. Enter broccoli. Broccoli is incredibly versatile in addition to being nutrient-dense. Thanks to a compound called indole-3-carbinol, broccoli has anti-cancer properties. It also has anti-inflammatory phyto nutrients; is rich in vitamin C, calcium and vitamin K; helps the body with detoxification; and helps keep the body less acidic. Quite impressive for one vegetable!

I added cilantro, pumpkin seeds for the good fats and protein, and a few other ingredients to round out the taste. Best of all, it’s pretty quick and versatile. You can toss this with pasta, use in wraps, or with fish/chicken,….even as a pizza base!

Broccoli Pesto

6 cups broccoli florets, and peeled/trimmed stalks
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds – lightly toasted
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeño pepper – seeded
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup good olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tomatoes – seeded and diced
1 onion – diced and sautéed

Lightly steam broccoli for just a few minutes. It should be bright green and firm, not mushy.

Place steamed broccoli and toasted pumpkin seeds in food processor. Add cilantro, garlic, pepper, salt, olive oil and lime juice. Pulse until well incorporated and smooth in texture.

Once pesto is made, toss with freshly cooked pasta, sautéed onion and tomato. Enjoy!