Broccoli pesto is my favorite way to sneak some greens into Luke’s beloved pasta, and while I first made this using quickly panfried or steamed broccoli, I find that roasting it adds a savory depth that can’t be beat. When I make this for him, I skip the Sriracha, but for us, I’ve found that a dollop or two adds a fantastically subtle heat, with just a touch of welcome tang, that perfectly complements the peppery basil and savory cheese. You can always omit it and just drizzle a bit on top at the end.
2–3 cups broccoli florets (about 1 small crown)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2–3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup basil leaves, tightly packed
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup pine nuts, almonds, or other nuts
2 ounces (⅓ to ½ cup) freshly grated Parmesan, or a mixture of pecorino Romano and Parmesan, to taste
2 teaspoons Sriracha or chili garlic paste
Preheat a regular or countertop oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Spread the florets evenly on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until browned in spots and tender. Depending on the size of your oven, you may need to do this in two batches.
Turn on a KitchenAid 7 Cup Food Processor fitted with the steel blade and drop in the garlic. When the garlic is minced and adhering to the sides of the bowl, stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the broccoli and the basil to the machine and turn on. When contents are finely chopped, stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Add the olive oil, nuts, and Parmesan, and blend until well-combined. Add salt and pepper to taste and continue to process until well-blended. Serve over pasta or as a spread on toast. Pesto keeps for about 5-7 days in the refrigerator and a month or two in the freezer.