Not Your Usual Pesto

Pesto is one of those extremely versatile sauce that ends up in a lot of recipe. The original recipe is actually made without cheese, just lots of fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil and pine nuts. However it requires a lot of time and it is not that simple to make. Which is why most recipes, even “traditional” one include pecorino cheese. It gives the pesto a nice creamy texture without all the pestling work.

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Since cheese was actually an addition to pesto, I decided to experiment and see what kind of “pesto” I could come up with. The nicest twist so far is broccoli and nut pesto. It sounds strange but the broccoli really brings everything together giving it a very nice texture without overpowering the taste of the basil.

This recipe, having no cheese, also happens to be vegan but really anyone can enjoy it and it could be a great way to have young children eat broccoli!


  • Servings: 1 smallish jar
  • Difficulty: It's a breeze
  • Print

You will need

  • 150g boiled broccoli
  • 45g fresh basil leaves
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 45g extra virgin olive oil – the better the quality the better the final result
  • 1 tsp salt
  • a pinch of chili – optional

What should you do

  1. If your broccoli is not cooked already. Boil it well and let it cool.
  2. In a food processor mix the pine nuts, the basil leaves and the broccoli.
  3. Slowly add the olive oil until you obtain a creamy paste. Your pesto should not be liquid. Rather, it should have the consistency of thick yoghurt. Feel free to add less oil or more if you feel the consistency is not quite as you want it.
  4. If don’t use it immediately, store in a air tight jar. It will keep in the fridge up to 3 days.
  5. Enjoy!

Experiment with the type of nuts you use. Walnuts taste great in this recipe but you could also try almond or a mix of different nuts.

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