If you didn’t yet know that I’m a pesto fiend… here’s extra proof! And if you aren’t sick of pesto yourself yet, I present to you the latest green sauce innovation to hit my fridge – Broccoli Pesto with Capers!
Broccoli is a delicious cruciferous vegetable containing mega amounts of essential nutrients, including:
- Sulphur – anti-inflammatory, essential for liver detox pathways, fungicide, vermicide, etc.
- Vitamin C – 135% of RDA in 1 cup raw
- Vitamin K – 115% RDA in 1 cup raw
- Folate – 14% RDA in 1 cup raw
- Carotenoids – anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cell-signalling, etc.
- Decent amounts of some minerals, some omega 3 and 6, and water, and more
Steaming broccoli for 4-5 minutes has been shown to actually increase bioavailability of nutrients like vitamin C and sulphur – a quick steam will also make digestion of hard cruciferous veggies much easier. If you are sensitive to sulphurous veggies, try a quick steam before adding broccoli to the food processor with the other ingredients.
If you’re avoiding goitrogens for a thyroid condition, generally my advice would be not to worry. However, if you are worried, lightly steaming your broccoli may decrease any goitrogenic effect. For more on goitrogens and thyroid, see here.
Delicious, salty capers are a favourite of mine for boosting the flavour profile of many dishes. I love them paired with salmon, lemon, roasted pears, and fennel. They also are miraculous with broccoli – the salty melds with the zingy edges of the broccoli to produce a depth of flavour that I didn’t know broccoli was capable of. Try it – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
This recipe was inspired by a broccoli and sun-dried tomato pesto made by Ellie of Whole Happy.
Broccoli Pesto with Capers
1 c. fresh basil leaves
1 c. broccoli florets, stems removed (steamed 4-5 mins if desired)
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2-1 Tbsp capers
1 clove garlic, optional
Splash lemon juice, to taste
Place all ingredients in a food processor and whiz away until blended – raw broccoli will result in more texture to the final product, whereas steaming the broccoli first may be blended to a smoother consistency if desired. You can also adjust the amount of oil to change the consistency. As always, pesto is very forgiving, and therefore nicely customizable!
Pictured below is Broccoli Pesto with Capers making polite conversation with my ultimate spring favourite Dandelion Basil Pesto.