Broccoli Pesto Pasta with Olives and Feta

Make new friends, but keep the old.  Do you know that song?  It’s a round.  One is silver and the other’s gold.

I made a lot of new friends this week.  What more is there to life, really?  I went to the BlogHer Food conference here in Seattle and a few things came to my attention.  First, I like food bloggers just as much in real life as I like them on the internet.  (There is an automatic bond among people who spend the day in serious contemplation of what to eat next, I think.)  Second, I learned some photography basics for producing better pictures than the iPhone snapshots you see here–which I will put into practice some day when I have loads more time, maybe.  And, honestly, I came home refreshed and grateful for my family after spending most of two whole daytimes away from my girls for the first time in more than a year.

I ate plenty of great food this week, but I was glad to be back in my own kitchen tonight.  I used a favorite trick of mine for squeezing more vegetables into our meal by blending broccoli into a pureed sauce for pasta and more broccoli.  I don’t know if this is technically a “pesto” but it is green and saucy, so there you go.  I didn’t use cheese in it, so this dish is vegan if you leave out the feta.

This is an easily-deconstructed meal if you care about that sort of thing: J & I had it all, the girls had plain pasta and broccoli (they declined the green “dip”–I thought I was so smart with that spin!), and the baby had pasta, broccoli, and as many olives as we’d give her.  Go figure.  The broccoli pesto would also be just right dolloped over a pizza or spread onto crostini, or even as a dip for crackers or other vegetables.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta with Olives and Feta:  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Chop a pound of broccoli into large florets, peeling and chopping the stems, and boil about 30 seconds, until bright green and crisp-tender.  Remove from water with a tongs or slotted spoon and drain.  Bring the water back to a boil, salt it generously, and cook half a pound of pasta according to the package directions.  While the pasta is cooking, chop the cooked broccoli and transfer half it to a food processor, reserving the remaining chopped broccoli.  To the broccoli in the food processor, add 3 Tb. pine nuts, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 c. olive oil and 2 Tb. of the pasta cooking water.  Blend thoroughly, scraping down the sides a few times and adding more oil or water to achieve a smooth, sauce-like consistency.  Drain the cooked pasta and toss with the broccoli pesto, reserved broccoli florets, torn kalamata olives, and feta cheese.   Offer ground pepper at the table.

22 thoughts on “Broccoli Pesto Pasta with Olives and Feta

  1. Erina

    I am all about pureeing broccoli…I especially like Broccoli, Cheddar, and White Bean soup. Looks great!!

  2. baconbiscuit212

    This looks really good! Glad to gear that the bloggers’ conference was fun. I think food bloggers would be the best group to hang out with. I am wondering what tech bloggers are like …

    I am glad too that your baby loves olives!

  3. Shira

    This looks gorgeous (and I am into this sort of thing for sure!) – I bet the conference was fun..I was following vicariously through twitter..maybe next time if it is in Seattle again!

    1. emmycooks Post author

      Yes, come next time! I would never have thought to go if it hadn’t been here in Seattle, but next year I’m thinking I might even go to Austin, TX! (It’s supposed to be a great place to eat, too.) :)

  4. Sarah

    That looks delicious! I am going to a food writers conference the end of July and I can’t wait! Big plus that it is here in town and I don’t have to travel for it.

    1. emmycooks Post author

      How fun! I spent most of my time at the photography and basic website sessions, but it was hard to miss out on the writing part! Next time. Have fun!

  5. Pingback: The Bad Home Cook makes a broccoli pesto… — Bad Home Cooking

  6. Pingback: Penne with Asparagus and Goat cheese « Stefan's Gourmet Blog

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