On my visit to Highland Orchards I picked up a bunch of their broccoli rabe. I had a Mario Batali recipe for broccoli rabe pesto that I had been wanting to play with, so this seemed like a good opportunity to do that.
The color of the finished pesto had to make me smile – it looked more like guacamole than pesto (but it definitely tasted like pesto, not guac).
I liked the sharp flavor the mustard added to what was otherwise a fairly mild pesto. I also added some pecorino Romano to enhance that even more. To serve, we topped the pasta and pesto with additional freshly grated parmigiano reggiano.
The recipe is scalable, I had a large bunch, about 1 pound, and made a good 3 cups of pesto.
Broccoli Rabe Pesto and Pasta
adapted from Mario Batali’s Broccoli Rabe Pesto
2 Tbsp Kosher salt
1 lb broccoli rabe, stems trimmed (from Highland Orchards)
4 – 6 garlic cloves, depending on the size
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano
1/4 cup Locatelli romano
Pasta, cooked according to package directions (amounts depend upon the number of people you are serving)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add Kosher salt. Add the Broccoli rabe and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli rabe to a bowl of ice water. Drain well.
In a food processor, with the motor running, drop in the garlic and finely chop it. Add the broccoli rabe and almonds and pulse until finely chopped.
Add the mustard and blend well.
With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the cheeses.
Makes about 3 cups of pesto. Enjoy! Pesto can be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed glass jar, topped with a thin layer of olive oil for about a week. Or can be placed in sealed plastic bags and frozen for a few months.
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