Vegan Broccoli Stem Pesto
I have to admit, I am not fond of eating the stem of the broccoli. I do cut the florets so they have a 2-3 inch stem on them but the big broccoli stem itself, I don’t use. Until now! I also don’t like wasting food or throwing good food on the compost. I have used the stem to make soup in the past, but we have gotten tired of eating so much broccoli soup, so I have put it on the back burner so to say.
Today I experimented making broccoli stem pesto. The broccoli stem does not have a strong flavor, so I would suggest using flavorful herbs and nuts. I used a large handful of fresh basil to make this pesto, but arugula or even cress would also be good. Since we have a large walnut tree that generously gives us many lovely nuts, I used walnuts, however hazelnuts, pine nuts, or even sunflower seeds would also work well with the recipe. Most recipes use Parmesan cheese. I make a vegan adaptation which includes nutritional yeast and a bit of dry mustard powder (you could also use regular mustard).
1½ -2 cups
- 1 large, broccoli, raw stem
- ½ cup walnuts, toasted
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the very old edge of the broccoli off and put it on the compost.
- Cut the rest of the broccoli stem in large chunks and place in the food processor.
- Add the lemon juice and olive oil.
- Pulse to chop the stem in very fine pieces.
- Add the garlic, basil and walnut pieces and continue to pulse. You may need to add some more liquid. I added water as I did not want more oil, nor more lemon flavor.
- Add the nutritional yeast, mustard, salt and pepper and continue to pulse. Taste and season accordingly.
- We enjoyed the pesto on toasted baguette pieces with nice organic vegan white wine, making a delicious snack while watching a movie or an appetizer to a supper. The pesto would also be great as a sauce on pasta or over steamed vegetables.