“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 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.
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
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
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!