Sunday, March 24, 2019

Broccoli, Blue Cheese and Walnut Pesto – You don’t know what you’re missing George!

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This dish was inspired by former President of the United States, George W Bush, who had this to say about a much maligned vegetable: “I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli.” So there!

Well, George, I didn’t like broccoli either. I didn’t like it when I was a little kid and my mother grew it and made me eat it. While we could coax the cat to eat most things our finicky palates rejected, it could not be persuaded to hoover up our unwanted broccoli and so we had to suffer it. Now I’m a grown up, I actually love broccoli.

It takes mere minutes to turn what could be a so-so side dish into the main attraction. George, you don’t know what you are missing!

A delicious meal in minutes - hey pesto!

For 4 – 6 servings of pesto you will need...
125g broccoli, broken into florets
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
50g walnuts, toasted in a dry frying pan over a low heat
50g mild blue cheese such as Cashel Blue, or Bleu d'Auvergne
5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
¼ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper 

1                    Cook the broccoli in boiling salted water for about 6 minutes until just tender. A knife should easily pierce the stems when cooked. Remove from the heat, drain and stir in the crushed garlic. Leave to cool.
2                    When the broccoli has cooled, place it in a food processor along with all the other ingredients. Process until you have a smooth, slightly grainy paste. And that’s it – hey pesto! (I haven't specified salt in the ingredient list as the cheese can be quite salty so taste the mixture and only add salt if necessary.) This will keep, covered, in the fridge for 3 or 4 days.

To serve, simply prepare tagliatelle or other pasta according to the instructions on the packet. When cooked, drain and return to the cooking pot along with 2 – 3 tablespoons of the pesto per person. Toss the pasta so that it is coated with the pesto. Serve immediately.

The End!

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