Broccoli is in season in the UK throughout March, April, May. In this recipe it provides a mouth-watering alternative in pesto to herbs such as basil. 


  • 2 heads of broccoli, just florets (use the stalks in a soup or stir fry) 
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped 
  • 1 lemon, juiced 
  • 3 tablespoons nuts or seeds, crushed 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan (or yeast flakes will make this dish vegan) 

Serve tossed with 500 grams of pasta, any shape you like. 


  1. Add the pasta to a large pan of boiling salted water and cook according to pack instructions (usually 10 minutes).  
  2. Meanwhile, bring a smaller pan of salted water to the boil, add the broccoli and boil for 6 minutes.  
  3. Drain the broccoli and return it to the pan. Lightly mash half the broccoli with a potato masher or fork. Finely chop the garlic and zest the lemon, then mix into the mashed broccoli, olive oil and crushed nuts or seeds  

To serve  

Drain the pasta and beans and return to the pan. Stir in the broccoli pesto, broccoli florets and squeeze over the juice of a lemon. Spoon in the grated Parmesan (or yeast flakes), toss the pasta well, then enjoy. 


Feeling lazy? Make the pesto in a processor or use prepared pesto and then roast off the broccoli florets for 15 mins at 180 celsius in the oven, then mix.   

Hard-core want more? Why not try this carrot top pesto salad. 

For more pasta recipes using roughly five ingredients have a look here.