Broccoli Kale Pesto

I know there are a lot of broccoli stem haters out there. Honestly, I'm not one of them, I've found that as long as the tough outside layer is cut off at least a little bit that they roast up quite well. However, I've come up with a new use for them, and if you are in the broccoli stem hater camp this one is for you. 

For this broccoli kale pesto I took all the stems from one bunch of broccoli, boiled them up until nice and soft, and processed them with some kale and garlic to make a vibrant, healthy, and delicious spread or sauce. I thought the broccoli flavor was quite mild so if that worries you, have no fear. The combination of the broccoli with the kale was a perfect match. The kale brightened up the color of the pesto, and the combo of the two veggies helped mellow the flavors of both resulting in a nicely balanced sauce. With the punch of the raw garlic added in as well, this sauce turned into a beautiful, healthy and delicious way to amp up a sandwich, a batch of eggs, or a bowl of pasta. It is super versatile and really can be used in just about anything you might possibly imagine. 

Like most pestos and other sauces, this recipe is very versatile. If you want to add more kale, go for it, most broccoli, why not? Not a fan of raw garlic, try roasting some up before you throw it in. I used sunflower seeds to add some nuttiness, but any other nut would work too, almonds, walnuts, whatever you might have. I didn't have much cheese when I made this but I would love to try adding some salty parmesan, a handful of feta, or my favorite - creamy and delicious goat cheese. I don't think any of these various combinations can be bad. Broccoli is definitely going on the shopping list very soon. 

Broccoli Kale Pesto


  • Stems from 1 head broccoli
  • 3-4 stalks Kale
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • Lemon juice from half a large lemon
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Olive oil, 2-4 tablespoons


Boil broccoli stems in salted water until very tender, 20-30, drain any leftover water.

Add broccoli to the food processor along with the kale, garlic lemon juice, some salt and the sunflower seeds. Pulse a few times to coursely chop. With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil in a slow and steady stream until the mixture turns into a smooth sauce with your desired consistency. It's not an exact science, just do what looks and tastes good to you. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally as needed. Taste, and add more salt if needed.