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).

Broccoli Stem Pesto Bruschetta


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

Broccoli Stem Pesto Bruschetta


  1. Cut the very old edge of the broccoli off and put it on the compost.
  2. Cut the rest of the broccoli stem in large chunks and place in the food processor.
  3. Add the lemon juice and olive oil.
  4. Pulse to chop the stem in very fine pieces.
  5. 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.
  6. Add the nutritional yeast, mustard, salt and pepper and continue to pulse. Taste and season accordingly.
  7. 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.