Get ahead with your head of broccoli

By Corrie Heale

In the back of the vegetable crisper it waits patiently.

Its bushy green head turning ever so slightly yellow, it’s pine coloured leaves wilt and shrivel whilst its branches begin to soften. But it doesn’t have to be this way!

Liberate your head of broccoli by chopping it up (stalk and all) and serving it al dente stirred through wholemeal pasta with a vibrant kale and walnut pesto. Delish! Alternatively, leave the dish to cool fully before refrigerating and serving as a summery accompaniment to any barbecue. Adding crumbled feta or parmesan shavings add a bit of extra indulgence or leave it as it is to please any plant-based guests you may be entertaining.

Vegan broccoli fusilli with kale and walnut pesto

Serves 2 / Hands on time 15 mins / Total time 20 mins / V Vn Df

You’ll need:

A food processor

50g walnuts (about 2 handfuls)

1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly sliced

1 handful of kale, heavier stems removed and discarded

20-30g fresh basil

4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

150g wholemeal brown fusilli

1 head of broccoli

Salt and pepper

Method:

1. Put a full kettle on to boil and pour the pasta into a large saucepan (big enough to accommodate an entire chopped head broccoli).

2. Meanwhile, make the pesto by peeling and roughly chopping the garlic before adding it to a food processor, along with the walnuts and a handful of kale (heavier stems removed). Blitz on full for about 10 seconds or until you have a rough paste.

2. Add the fresh basil, a good sprinkle of salt and pepper and give it another blitz – this time for a bit longer until you have a slightly smoother paste.

3. Lastly, add 3 tbs of extra virgin olive oil before blending for a final time (how long you blend is up to you depending on how smooth you like your pesto). Put to one side.

4. Pour the boiling water from the kettle over the pasta and add a half a tsp of salt to the water. Use more water than you would usually as you will need to boil the broccoli in it too. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions until 4 mins before the end of the cooking time. Meanwhile, pull he florets off the broccoli with your fingers and chop into big chunks include the stalk and the leaves.

5. Four minutes before the pasta is cooked add the broccoli florets to the pasta pan and boil for the remaining cooking time.

6. Strain the pasta and the broccoli well before transferring back into the saucepan off the heat. Add the pesto and stir well until evenly distributed. Divide onto plates and serve immediately with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a crack of black pepper.

Corrie Heale

Freelance food writer / vegetarian food blogger and recipe writer. corriesrabbitfood.com @corrieheale

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