Alicia Witt – Actress/Singer/Author
Book: Small Changes
City Winery – 1200 W. Randolph St., Chicago
11am doors open
Basic Basil Pesto/Broccoli
I often make a pesto that I keep in my fridge when I’m home, as it’s incredibly simple and delicious. If it’s only me for dinner, one of my favorite meals is a copious amount of broccoli with just enough water in the bottom of the pan to steam it al dente, so that the water is nearly gone by the time the broccoli is done. Mix that with pesto, and there’s nothing else I could want. Broccoli in quantities like that has protein and iron in it—not to mention a lot of water—so it’s filling and great brain food, and the pesto makes it extra delicious. My dad’s tip is to use the highly nutritious inside of the broccoli stalks in salads as well.
You can use pumpkin seeds or pecans instead of pine nuts, and parsley instead of, or in place of half of, the basil.
You can also turn this pesto into salad dressing! Simply put a gener- ous tablespoon of it in a small bowl and add about 2 tablespoons of hot water to start. Whisk with a fork and add more hot water if needed until it’s creamy.
3 raw cloves garlic
2 heaping packed cups fresh basil leaves (you can substitute
fresh parsley for some of the basil, if you like!)
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1/4 cup vegan mozzarella-style shreds
1/3 heaping cup pine nuts (or pumpkin seeds or pecans) 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cracked black pepper (more to taste) 3 tablespoons olive oil
Blend the garlic in a food processor, then add the basil, nutritional yeast, mozzarella-style shreds, and pine nuts. Blend thoroughly, and drizzle in the olive oil while doing so, if possible. Stop blending when the pesto reaches your desired consistency (I prefer it chunky). For a creamier pesto, you can also add a smidgen of water. Adjust season- ings as desired.
Add to your lightly steamed broccoli to taste—or to just about every- thing else!
Yields about 8 to 10 servings of pesto