One of the things I think about when I’m dreaming of summer is huge bunches of fresh basil. While basil is usually the main ingredient in pesto, the cool thing about pesto is that you can use a variety of greens as the base – like cilantro, spinach, swiss chard, arugula or even broccoli.

Another misnomer about pesto is that cheese is one of the required ingredients. The first time I made dairy free pesto in a cooking class, all the cheese lovers in class were so surprised by how good the pesto tasted without parmesan cheese.

Avocado pesto is the perfect example as is this version with broccoli. You get depth of flavor without the cheese.

And it’s so versatile. Stir pesto in to fresh pasta, spread on sandwiches or in wraps, dollop it over eggs, grilled vegetables, chicken or fish!

Or you can even just eat it with a spoon 🙂

Broccoli Pesto

2 cups broccoli florets
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
2 cups packed basil leaves
1/2 cup Body Bio Balance Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Blanch broccoli in boiling water for two minutes. Remove and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and either let dry or pat dry with paper towels.

Place the nuts and garlic in the bowl of  a food processor. Process until evenly blended. Add basil and pulse again until chopped and integrated into a consistent texture. Then add the broccoli and pulse a few times until all the broccoli is evenly chopped.

With the motor of food processor running, add the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.