Broccoli & Pesto Bowls
Over the Summer this has been one of my favourite things to eat. From quick lunches for one to a vibrant green side dish for a crowd, it’s a versatile ‘bowl’!
This is boiled / steamed method is my favourite way to cook broccoli. The salt means it keeps its gorgeous green colour. The small amount of water means less time boiling a big pot of water and we’re losing less nutrients down the sink.
I often use pre-cooked broccoli and serve it cold. However it’s also lovely with freshly steamed brocc too.
The protein options are endless here. It’s fab with roast nuts as in the photo but also works really well with cooked chicken, canned tuna or boiled or poached eggs.
enough for: 2
takes: 15 minutes
2 heads broccoli
10-12 tablespoons pesto
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
300-400g (10-14oz) cooked protein (see variations for ideas)
1. Bring 2cm (1in) of salted water to the boil in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile slice broccoli stems and cut florettes into bite sized trees.
2. Add broccoli to the boiling water. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain and allow to cool a little.
3. Toss warm broccoli in with the pesto, lemon and protein. Taste and season with salt and pepper and extra lemon, if needed.
4. Serve warm or cold with cooked protein on the side.
WINE MATCH: A crisp dry white.
Variations & Substitutions
pantry-friendly – frozen broccoli.
different protein – roast nuts especially almonds, hazelnuts or macadamias. Cooked meat especially chicken, pork or sausages. Eggs especially poached or boiled. And fish like canned tuna, sardines or salmon. Cooked chickpeas, lentils or white beans are also delicious. Cheese like crumbled feta, shaved parmesan or ricotta is another dimension. Salami, ham or proscuitto will keep the carnivores happy.
more substantial (carb lovers) – toss in cooked pasta or steamed potatoes
more substantial (low carb) – use multiple types of protein and/or the pesto. Or drizzle with a glug of peppery extra virgin olive oil. Or extra protein, extra pesto and avocado.
herby – toss in parsley or basil leaves.
carnivore – serve with sausages or chicken.
different veg – pesto is also amazing on roast or other steamed veg. Broccolini, cauliflower, green beans, snow peas, asparagus, even Asian greens will all work – just adjust cooking time as needed.
dairy-free / vegan – use a dairy-free pesto.
keto / ultra low carb – replace half the broccoli with baby spinach leaves.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
broccoli – will keep wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge for about 2 weeks or sometimes a little longer. Can be frozen (if you have time chop before freezing so it will defrost quickly in the pan).
pesto – commercial jars of pesto will keep for months in the pantry. Fresh pesto will keep in the fridge for a few weeks. Cover with olive oil to prevent exposure to air and browning reactions.
lemon – whole lemon will keep wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge for months.
protein – most can be frozen.
Yes! Just cook as per the recipe. Either serve cold or allow to come to room temp. If using nuts or anything crunchy as your protein, store them separately and add just before serving. Will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Can be frozen if you must.