Hye Thyme Cafe: Broccoli-Walnut Pesto

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Broccoli-Walnut Pesto

Broccoli-Walnut Pesto : Hye Thyme Cafe

This pesto was included as a part of my last post for Broccoli Pesto and Tomato Baked Spaghetti Squash, but I thought it might come in handy to break it out into it's own post in the event that I or anyone else want to refer to it at some point for another use - maybe a chicken and pasta dish? That sounds good!

Something I perhaps should have mentioned in the original post is that when I refer to a crown of broccoli, I don't mean a full head, which includes the long stalks; I mean a bunch of florets that comes with only short stalks attached.  

1 lg crown of broccoli
1 c walnuts
3-4 cloves garlic
1/2 t salt
1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 c parsley
1/2 c grated Parmesan
Juice of 1 lemon (zest optional but a nice addition)
Olive oil

  1. Briefly blanch the broccoli in boiling water to take that raw crunch off of it, then immediately rinse in cold water until cool, to halt the cooking process
  2. In the bowl of your food processor, pulse the walnuts, garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes to break up the walnuts
  3. Add the broccoli, parsley, Parmesan, and lemon juice (with zest if using) and process until well blended
  4. With the machine running, slowly pour olive oil through the feed tube until you achieve a texture you like
When making large batches of Pesto, I prefer to keep it on the thick side so I can adjust smaller amounts as necessary to suit whatever I'm using it for. If you are making a salad dressing, you will want it to be thinner, but say to use as a coating on chicken, you would want it thick, and for a pasta dish or a sandwich spread, you might want it somewhere in between. You can always make it thinner, but it's more difficult to bulk up for a thicker version later.

I like to freeze half-cup portions, whether in that size silicon mold to freeze and pop out, or measured out directly by measuring cup into a zip-top bag.

Blanch broccoli, then run under cold water until cool
See, no huge stalks.

Pulse walnuts, garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper to break down walnuts
Add Parmesan, broccoli, and lemon

While running, slowly stream in olive oil until desired texture achieved

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