This was downright yummy! I love pesto and garlic, but never would have thought to use broccoli. Due to the rabbit competition this year, my entire broccoli harvest for the season (including the stems!) yielded only 5 cups of broccoli - exactly what I needed for this recipe. :)
3 c. cooked quinoa*
3 c. cooked quinoa*
5 c. raw broccoli, cut into small florets and stems
3 medium garlic cloves
2/3 c. sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 big pinches salt
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. heavy cream
Optional toppings: slivered basil, red chili oil**, sliced avocado, crumbled feta or goat cheese
Cook the quinoa and set aside.
Steam broccoli just long enough to take the raw edge off. Transfer to strainer and run under cold water. Set aside.
To make the broccoli pesto, puree 2 c. cooked broccoli, garlic, 1/2 c. almonds, Parmesan cheese, salt and lemon juice in food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil and cream and pulse until smooth.
Just before serving, toss quinoa and remaining broccoli with about one half of the broccoli pesto. Taste and adjust, if needed, with more pesto, salt or lemon juice. Place on serving platter and top with remaining almonds, a drizzle of red chili oil, and additional optional toppings.
* To cook quinoa: rinse 1 c. quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer (if quinoa is not pre-rinsed). In medium saucepan, heat quinoa, 2 c. water (or broth if you like), and a few big pinches of salt until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa fluffs up, about 15 min. Quinoa is done when you can see the curlicue in each grain, and it is tender with a bit of pop to each bite. Drain any extra water and set aside.
** To make the red chili oil: heat 1/2 c. olive oil in small saucepan for several minutes. Turn off heat and stir in 1 1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes. Set aside and let cool, then store in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.