Sides · vegetable

Roasted Broccoli with Pepita Pesto

It’s warm and snuggly inside my house right now. At 5:30 in the morning, the sun still has a ways before it comes up. The temperature outside is a frigid 29 degrees with the wind chill making it feel 23. It’s our first freeze of the season.

The heater in my house is going full blast, and I’ve got my cozy clothes and socks on right now. The Christmas lights are twinkling. My coffee is piping hot. I’ve got a date with a cup of hot cocoa later.

It’s the perfect weather in my opinion. Cold, bundle-yourself-up, don’t-leave-the-house weather. I’ve got plans with my oven today, too, to bake a slew of cookies. I think my coworkers will be pleased come Monday.

Unfortunatly, I will have to get out of the house today. I’ve got to get myself to the grocery store and run a few errands thereafter. I’m okay with it though. I’ve got plenty of scarves and mittens to wrap myself up in.

You know what’s good for cold days like today? Roasting things. Roast chicken. Roast beef. Roasted pork tenderloin. Roasted vegetables. I’m a huge proponent of roasting just about everything on God’s green Earth. You get a better flavor out of meat & veg when you roast them.

I found this recipe in the recent edition of Food Network magazine and decided to tweak. I’ve never in my life found romanesco in the wild, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to find it for this recipe. Instead, I went with broccoli—because next to cauliflower, broccoli is my FAVORITE vegetable to roast.

The seasoning for the broccoli is simple: salt, pepper, chipotle chili powder, and garlic powder. Roast those bad boy florets up and try not to eat them all before you toss them in the pesto sauce (I barley made it to the tossing part). This “pesto” is more like if the real version (basil, pine nuts, parmesan) had a baby with chimichurri (cilantro, olive oil). I’ve had a big bag of pepitas in my pantry for a while now, so finding this recipe was kismet. What a great way to use up in pumpkin seeds you may have leftover from Halloween!

Roasted Broccoli with Pepita Pesto

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Crispy roasted broccoli tossed in a zesty pepita & cilantro-style pesto.

Ingredients

  • 2 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBS. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Juice & zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup roasted pepitas
  • 1 TBS. water
  • 3 TBS. cotija cheese, grated

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, toss broccoli florets with 2 tablespoons olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Lay out in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes until broccoli is lightly charred. Let cool before transfering to a large bowl.
  2. While broccoli is roasting, make the pesto: in a food processor, blend cilantro, juice and zest of lime, roasted pepitas, and cotija cheese. Slowly drizzle in water and 1/4 cup olive oil and continue to pulse. Mixture should be thick-ish like a regular pesto, but not as liquidy.
  3. Season pesto with salt and spoon over roasted broccoli. Toss so florets are well coated and serve.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, toss broccoli florets with 2 tablespoons olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Lay out in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes until broccoli is lightly charred. Let cool before transfering to a large bowl.

While broccoli is roasting, make the pesto: in a food processor, blend cilantro, juice and zest of lime, roasted pepitas, and cotija cheese. Slowly drizzle in water and 1/4 cup olive oil and continue to pulse. Mixture should be thick-ish like a regular pesto, but not as liquidy.

Season pesto with salt and spoon over roasted broccoli. Toss so florets are well coated and serve.

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5 thoughts on “Roasted Broccoli with Pepita Pesto

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