Earlier this week I took back up my position as our household’s Boss Salad producer, following a few very hectic weeks where Tristan had been at the helm of our packed lunches. Over this time he made so many lovely salads – including an exceptionally tasty nutty & sesame one – and the tables were turned with me sending him thank you texts commenting on the burst of interesting flavours. However I was still glad to get back in the kitchen to create exciting lunches that get me through long mornings at work.
On scanning the fridge I saw that we had some leftover kidney beans, but not quite enough for my desired protein hit, so I decided to use cashews in the salads for extra goodness. But then the food processor caught my eye… I’d already chopped up some broccoli and had the cashews out so decided to make an impromptu broccoli and cashew pesto. I was missing fresh basil but had some dried so decided to experiment with whether that would be a decent substitute. It worked surprisingly well – whilst not having the punch of fresh basil there was definitely enough strength in the flavour. It was also a great way to use the broccoli stalk which I usually keep for soup or vegetable stock.
This is a classic experimental recipe for me where I chucked loads of things in the processor, tasted, and amended accordingly. I recommend that you do the same – taste as you go. If you like this recipe, why not check out my kale and walnut pesto recipe?
Broccoli and cashew nut pesto
- 1/3 of a broccoli, chopped (plus the whole stalk – optional)
- 14-16 cashews
- 2 tbsp dried basil OR 12-14 leaves of fresh basil
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 cloves of garlic (depending on your taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Put all of the broccoli, cashews and basil in a food processor. Initially slice 2 cloves of garlic and add those.
Add 2 tbsp of the olive oil then blend until smooth. This should only take a minute or two as the cashews are the only rough ingredient.
Taste and add more garlic and olive oil plus the salt and pepper until you get the flavour you want. You can add more olive oil if you prefer a more liquidy pesto. You may also want to add more nuts – instead of doing this I crumbled some on to the dish I was having to give a bit more texture.
If using fresh basil you will get a mor vibrant green pesto than mine which used dried basil.
I served mine stirred through a courgetti and kidney bean salad, but you could use with pasta, as a spread on sandwiches or as an extra flavour to enhance any other dishes.