Thursday, July 3, 2014

Broccoli Rabe Tossed in Pesto

                                    broccoli rabe tossed in pesto

You know you want to eat more greens, so why not try broccoli rabe?  
Don't be intimidated if you've never made broccoli rabe before.  It is like cooking any other green and this is an easy recipe that is really tasty.

Do you like Italian food? It doesn't get more Italian than tossing broccoli rabe, broccoli or broccolini  in a delicious pesto sauce.

Pesto is easy to make and generally made from four basic ingredients:
  • Fresh Basil 
  • Some sort of nut ( pecan, walnut,or pine nut)
  • Olive oil 
  • Italian Parmesan or Pecorini cheese

Because of the fresh greens, this recipe provides lots of energy giving chlorophyll and nutrients . The broccoli rabe is pungent, while the fresh basil is sweeter.

 If you like broccoli , you will probably like broccoli rabe or broccolini
( available year round in most supermarkets in the produce section). The taste is similar, but a little more bitter - which is what I love.

broccoli rabe in garlic
Plain broccoli rabe cooked in garlic 

Broccoli rabe is a little leafier vegetable and is kind of like a cross between spinach and broccoli. It is composed of some leafy vegetable and some baby broccoli heads. Sauteed in garlic, it's one of my favorites recipes ( click for basic recipe) 

Pesto is also commonly tossed in pasta, but pesto can be used to perk up any cooked vegetable. Simply cook the vegetable and then toss it with the amount of pesto of your choice.

Want to make dinner out of this recipe? You could toss in some cooked gluten free  pasta . The pasta, broccoli rabe, and pesto together would be filling and delicious. 

If you don't eat pasta, you could try it with spaghetti squash or "zoodles" ( noodles made by spiralizing zucchini-You can check out the spiralizers on Amazon:  Joyce Chen 51-0662, Saladacco Spiral Slicer, White is an inexpensive tool that I have used for years and so much fun. 

spiralized zucchini noodles in tomatoe sauce
Click here : " zoodles" made with a spiralizer tool and zucchini 

Pesto is a delicious seasoning that is perfect in the summer when fresh basil and spinach are seasonal and plentiful. I never really thought I would like it, but I was pleasantly surprised once I started to make pesto and enjoyed its rich flavor. I also realized its health value and its versatility. 

It's great for anyone on a low carb diet as well and you can simply omit the cheese if you are vegan.

I originally saw this recipe for pesto broccolini on a blog called What's Gaby Cooking. This is my adapted version of the recipe.

Ingredients to make the greens:
1 bunch of broccoli rabe, broccolini , or  1 head of broccoli, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
Optional: pinch of red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons olive or coconut oil

Saute garlic in oil for a minute on high heat in a large skillet. Drop in the chopped greens and saute until slightly tender. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Ingredients for Pesto:

4 cups fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts or pine nuts
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorini Cheese

Process the basil and nuts, then add garlic, freshly grated cheese and process. Slowly drizzle in olive oil as processor is running until a paste is formed.

Toss 2-3 tablespoons of the pesto into the greens and serve.

fresh grated Parmesan cheese

bowl of walnuts and Parmesan cheese

food processor with bail inside
Ingredients in the food processor 
Quote: “Those who think they have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”~ Edward Stanley

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This post may be share some of the following Weekly
Cooking with Herbs Lavender and Lovage
Pin It Please leave a comment so I know you stopped by. Scroll down to the end of the post and click on comments.


  1. I need to plant more basil, I can see there are so many ways to use in recipes, lol

  2. Gorgeously green! Pesto adds so much good flavor to many different dishes. Thanks for sharing this with Souper Sundays. ;-)

  3. i like the fact that it looks not only yummy - but it looks REAL easy to make.... :D

  4. I'm a big pesto fan so I'm looking forward to trying this.
    Thanks for sharing at The Weekend Social, I'm looking forward to seeing you again next Thursday at 9pm EST at for another installment of The Weekend Social.

  5. Brilliant idea and the combination of pesto and broccoli rabe will make both my daugher and husband happy. Pinned.

  6. Thanks for adding this and the other lovely recipe to Cooking with Herbs for July! Karen

  7. I like adding pesto to potatoes, so why not broccoli rabe too?! Thanks for a new way to use pesto, Judee!

  8. I'm so excited to try your pesto recipes. Now I just need a food processor!

  9. What a wonderful way to serve broccoli rabe, Judee! The pesto would be the perfect accompaniment to this healthy green! Thank you for sharing this wholesome recipe with us at the Hearth and Soul hop.

  10. This is such a mouth-watering recipe! Yummy! I will definitely give it a try!

  11. I love Broccoli Rabe and never thought of mixing it with Pesto, can't wait to try it! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday. Have a great week and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen


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