Thursday, 12 July 2012

Broccoli, Walnut and Blue Cheese Pesto - Tenderstem in 10 challenge

Broccoli is a brilliant vegetable but occasionally I find myself at a loss for what to do with it. It's great with spices, superb with salty soy and oyster sauce and phenomenal with blankets of cheese. So when the kind people from Tenderstem asked if I was interested in taking part in their challenge I gladly accepted; a chance to really think outside the box.
The challenge was to make a meal using the Tenderstem broccoli using less than 10 ingredients in less than 10 minutes. I felt like a Ready Steady Cook contestant. I received a lovely parcel which contained the broccoli as well as a kitchen timer to keep me on track!
 
You will need (for 2):
1 pack Tenderstem broccoli
Small handful chopped walnuts
50g (ish) blue cheese
Rapeseed oil
Fresh pasta
Salt and Pepper

Get yourself a steamer and put some boiling water into the pan. Put four stems of broccoli into the top of the steamer and cook for two minutes. While the broccoli cooks, lightly dry toast the walnuts in another pan. When the broccoli is done put it into a blender with the toasted nuts and blue cheese. 
Whizz the ingredients for a few seconds and then drizzle in the rapeseed oil until you have a looseish texture. Add lots of pepper and a little salt and check the seasoning. I was a little concerned that I might end up with florets all over the kitchen but it was much easier and tidier than I envisaged. Put the pasta into the water and the rest of the broccoli into the steamer and cook for two or three minutes. Drain the pasta and broccoli, chuck the pesto on and top with the remaining broccoli. 
For such a quick dinner it really delivered on flavour. The smooth, silky pasta was fantastic with the chunky, punchy pesto and the juicy, sweet broccoli finished the dish perfectly. I have to admit that the cheese, nuts and pasta made for a really filling meal so my portions above are for very hungry people! The slightly nutty rapeseed oil was wonderful in the pesto and using the broccoli as part of the pesto meant that it flavoured the whole dish rather than isolating the broccoli flavour to the stem. A perfect midweek meal.

23 comments:

  1. Intrigued by the pasta from the photo-what shape/type is it?

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  2. I love broccoli with pasta. I've never tried pureeing them with walnuts, but sure do like the sound of it. YUM!

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  3. Yummy! I hubby will certainly love this especially for the blue cheese! *^

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  4. Oh well done you! I wanted to do a pesto with my tenderstem, but hubby wouldn't go with the idea. Said it would be too cabbagey. Now I can show him your blog post and say "see what we missed out on!". LOL

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  5. Very interesting this pesto and even more interesting if you are a great broccoli lover like me.
    You are very creative.

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  6. I'm feeling a TV cooking show coming for you! Love the pics as well as the fabulous illustration of your unending creativity.

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  7. Brilliant and quick pasta sauce, I love the idea of adding nuts to add an intersting flavour and texture to your broccoli pesto.

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  8. This is a simple and great way of transforming the broccoli, pasta and coming up with a interesting recipe.

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  9. broccoli is one of my favourite veggies and what a great way of using them. Great recipe will have to try it out.

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  10. Oooh what a great idea to use broccoli in a pesto!!Love it :)

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  11. What a brilliant use for broccoli--I love it, but get tired of eating it on its own.

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  12. I love the flavors in this. I often use blue cheese and walnuts with cauliflower.

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  13. Boy, I am going to have to plan a Food on Friday on broccoli - who knew there were so many ways to use it?

    Have a great week!

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  14. A very original and delicious sounding spin on pesto my friend nice one :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  15. What a fun challenge! You did a great job coming up with such a unique use for broccoli.

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  16. You should really have your own cooking show soon, awesome!

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  17. The name tenderstem sounds sweet already!

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  18. Love the combination of walnut and blue cheese. I usually have broccoli with soy sauce, sesame oil chilli and garlic.

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  19. I'm loving the pasta you've used, too...so pretty! And the broccoli pesto sounds amazing...I'd LOVE this!!!

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  20. This is my kind of pasta too. Delicious and loaded with flavours.

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  21. Broccoli and cheese is always a great combo. Love the blue cheese and it looks delish!

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  22. I do like that. Nice mix of blended and whole broccoli, must be great with that blue cheese. A.

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