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.