Broccoli Pesto Crostini

What to do when you have a hankering for nutty, garlicky pesto, but summer’s over and fresh basil’s gone until spring? Substitute something in seasonal abundance: broccoli for instance. Try folding the bright tasting spread into cooked pasta, stir into steaming Minestrone soup or smear on toasted artisan bread with walnuts and chopped kalamata olives sprinkled on top for a fabulous fall crostini. Maybe we can survive until basil season after all.

(Makes about 2 cups)


  • 3 cups, broccoli pieces (cut into small size)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (plus more for garnish)
  • 7 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 7 plus Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Chopped kalamata olives (for garnish)
  • Crusty bread toasted


  1. Place nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium heat. Toast until covered in golden brown spots — turning several times during cooking to prevent burning. Remove from pan to cool, and roughly chop.
  2. Boil water in a medium sized pan. Add broccoli pieces and cook until bright green — about 20 seconds only. Drain and place in an ice-water bath to halt cooking.
  3. Place cooked broccoli, 1/2 cup nuts, cheese, garlic, lemon juice and salt into a food processor. Process until finely chopped. Slowly add 7 tablespoons of olive oil through feed tube while processor is running on low speed. Add more olive oil as needed so pesto is moist. Up to 2 Tablespoons more.
  4. Spread on toasted bread and top with toasted walnuts and chopped kalamata olives.
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