Roasted Broccoli Pesto with Leeks, Toasted Almonds + Lemon

Roasted broccoli pesto with roasted garlic, leeks, toasted almonds and lots of lemon. A fresh spring spread or dip. Vegan and gluten free.

“I do not wish to treat friendships daintily, but with the roughest courage. When they are real, they are not glass threads or frost-work, but the solidest thing we know.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

I wouldn’t consider myself someone with a lot of friends. Acquaintances, yes – but there are only a small handful of people I hold close enough to call a true friend. As with most things in life, I opt for quality over quantity here too. The older I get the more I realize how difficult it can be to build new friendships, which is why I seem to cherish my existing ones even more as time moves along. There is a lot to be said about surrounding yourself with the right people. These people will hold you up, allow you to make mistakes and to talk about your struggles and dreams without fear of judgment. I’m lucky to have found these people. To know them well and to hold them close. I spent the weekend with these people. I arrived with a travel bag full of sourdough loaves and left with a happy heart. We talked about marriage and babies and getting older. We ate dessert at 11am. We just, were. True friendships take time and courage to build, but when they’re real they become so easy, almost effortless. And they are still the solidest thing I know.

I made this roasted broccoli pesto a few weeks ago when spring felt like it was just a dream. It’s rich and nutty from the almonds and roasted leeks, but the abundance of lemon makes it feel fresh. I’ll be making another batch to bring along for easter with family this weekend – I’m thinking it will make an easy pre-dinner snack. Here’s hoping there’s gratitude for solid friendships and good food during the week ahead. Happy days to you and yours.

Roasted broccoli pesto with roasted garlic, leeks, toasted almonds and lots of lemon. A fresh spring spread or dip. Vegan and gluten free.Roasted broccoli pesto with roasted garlic, leeks, toasted almonds and lots of lemon. A fresh spring spread or dip. Vegan and gluten free.Roasted broccoli pesto with roasted garlic, leeks, toasted almonds and lots of lemon. A fresh spring spread or dip. Vegan and gluten free.Roasted broccoli pesto with roasted garlic, leeks, toasted almonds and lots of lemon. A fresh spring spread or dip. Vegan and gluten free.


ROASTED BROCCOLI PESTO WITH LEEKS, TOASTED ALMONDS + LEMON

I served this with my favorite leek + turmeric sourdough toast, some radishes and lots of lemon. I could see this easily making it’s way into an easter menu as a fresh and light appetizer. Or go right ahead and top it off with an egg for an easy easter breakfast or brunch

Vegan and gluten free. Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

1 medium head of broccoli, cut into florets (about 6 cups)
1 large leek, slice lengthwise and then into chunks
6 small cloves garlic, whole with papery skins left on
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Juice of half a lemon
1/3 cup fresh parsley

Radish and toast, to serve
Sprouts or herbs of choice, to garnish

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 F

Place broccoli, leeks and whole garlic cloves on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper and toss to combine and coat. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the edges of the broccoli are crisp and the garlic is soft. Flip the veg and rotate the baking sheet at the 12 minute mark to prevent burning. Reduce oven temperature if you notice the leeks are getting to crispy. Remove from the oven and let cool.

While the veg are roasting, toast the almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant. Shaking the pan often to ensure even browning and prevent burning.

Remove the cloves from their skin and add to the bowl of a food processor along with broccoli, leeks, toasted almonds, parsley, lemon juice and zest.  Pulse to break up, the add in 4-5 tablespoons of olive and blend again until the texture with mostly smooth with no large pieces. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.

Garnish with sprouts and extra lemon. Serve with radishes, carrots and your favorite toast or crackers.


Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!

10 Comments

  • Reply
    Victoria Peaks
    April 12, 2017 at 11:40 am

    your pictures are so beautiful :)

    • Reply
      Jodi
      April 12, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave some kind words, Victoria. It means the world to me! x

  • Reply
    Sarah | Well and Full
    April 12, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    I’m the same way… I was never the one with a ton of friends, just a few close “best” friends that are like family to me. Your weekend sounds lovely, Jodi. Sending hugs <3

    • Reply
      Jodi
      April 13, 2017 at 8:35 am

      Best friends are the ones that really count in my opinion – those that you would move mountains for. Thanks for saying hi, Sarah :) x

  • Reply
    Jessie Snyder
    April 12, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Your words are so beautiful here Jodi <3. It does become tougher as you get older to find those friendships, and makes the ones that have remained so much sweeter. I love this pesto idea and your use of leeks, I'm salivating thinking of how this must taste. Happy early Easter to you and your man lovely lady. I hope you have just the best time celebrating and being with those you love to squeeze!

    • Reply
      Jodi
      April 13, 2017 at 8:37 am

      Thank you, Jessie! I’m really into leeks at the moment – they are so delicious when they are roasted, I just can’t get enough. Here’s hoping your weekend is full sunshine bike rides and coffee with that guy of yours. Wishing you well xx

  • Reply
    Maya | Spice + Sprout
    April 13, 2017 at 10:38 am

    I love your words on friendships. As I move farther away from university and an abundance of people my age doing the same thing as me, those old and close relationships feel more significant than ever. So beautiful to read your thoughts, as always <3

    • Reply
      Jodi
      April 14, 2017 at 7:15 am

      Hi Maya! Thank you for taking the time to say hello. You’re so right, university is such a fantastic time, we’re constantly meeting new people and making new friends – it’s chock full of great energy. Enjoy all of it, hope you’re doing well x

  • Reply
    Sus // roughmeasures.com
    April 14, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Jodi this looks so delicious I want to scoop it from the screen. I need also need your sourdough recipe!

    • Reply
      Jodi
      April 18, 2017 at 8:00 am

      Sus! I order Tartine Bread and starting with that. My starter is going strong and I experiment with recipes from that book and others that I sort of make up on my own. You can definitely find the recipe for the starter/country loaf from Tartine online if you just want to give it a go, and you should! x

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