Learn how to make a broccoli rabe pesto, that tastes just as good as traditional pesto, and several ideas on how to use it.
I love pesto made with basil, but in the winter I have to buy fresh basil from the store and sometimes it’s rather expensive and not very nice looking.
I found this beautiful bunch of broccoli rabe, aka rappini, at the market recently. Though I had never made pesto with a vegetable or different herb, I knew that it could be done. I have made pesto with basil and different nuts, such as walnuts, and different cheeses like Romano cheese. So this time I thought, why not broccoli rabe?
Like traditional pesto, I stuck with toasted pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.
I immediately made broccoli rabe pesto over spaghetti for dinner. It was amazing.
Note: You can add a little bit of the pasta water to make more of a sauce.
However, there are so many ways that you can use pesto, traditional basil or otherwise. Here are a just a few. I hope you have a chance to try this one, and venture out into the realm of pesto possibilities.
Ways To Use Broccoli Rabe Pesto
- As a pasta sauce, just like traditional pesto
- To make Vegetarian Lasagna
- On top of a brick of cream cheese, served with crackers as an appetizer.
- To make a vinaigrette (Combine 1-2 T broccoli rabe pesto to 1/2 c vinegar and 1 cup of olive oil)
- As a condiment on a sandwich. You could even mix some with mayo.
- Add a tablespoon on top of cooked protein such as steak, fish or chicken
- To add flavor to steamed, grilled or roasted vegetables
- As a topping or sauce to any savory tart, flatbread or pizza.
Broccoli Rabe Pesto
- 1 bunch fresh broccoli rabe
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- 1/3 cup pine nuts - roasted
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- Wash and trim the broccoli rabe.
- Blanch broccoli rabe in boiling water for 5 minutes or until slightly softened. Remove to paper towels to dry and cool slightly. Roughly chop.
- In a food processor combine garlic, Parmesan cheese, peppers, and pine nuts. Pulse.
- Add broccoli rabe and pulse.
- While the processor is going slowly add the olive oil through the top.
- Remove to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 weeks or freeze for future use.
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