I fully realize that the combination of broccoli and hemp seeds sounds way too healthy to taste good. However, in this case, the flavors of olive oil, fresh oregano, lemon, crushed red chili flakes, a hint of garlic, and nuttiness from the hemp round out any bitterness from the broccoli to make a deliciously unique and versatile pesto with a gorgeous minty color.
My husband has a nut allergy, so I’m always thinking of ways to use seeds in their place, (since nuts and nut flours tend to be some of my top go-to ingredients). I’ve found hemp seeds and coconut (which is not actually a tree-nut) to be consistently good options, and hemp seeds in particular give a great nutty flavor in the absence of the real deal.
If you would rather use nuts in this recipe, I think walnuts would be absolutely delicious, and if you tolerate dairy, pecorino romano cheese would be an amazing addition. (I didn’t only because I wanted to attempt to make this recipe Whole 30 friendly.) And finally, I wish I had thought of this before taking photos, but hard-boiled eggs, halved or quartered and tossed with the potato pesto mixture, could only make this dish tastier.
Feel free to use this pesto to top pasta instead of potatoes or to use as a dip for sliced vegetables. Enjoy!
- ~3lbs waxy potatoes, diced into approximate 1 inch cubes
- ~3 packed cups broccoli florets
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Zest and juice from one lemon
- ~20 fresh oregano leaves
- 1/2 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- Hard boiled eggs, pecorino romano cheese (experimental, see note above)
Fill a large pot with water, and bring to a rapid boil. Add the potatoes, and cook for 8-10 minutes until cooked through. Strain the potatoes, and cool to room temperature.
In a food processor or blender, combine the broccoli, olive oil, salt, lemon zest and juice, oregano, garlic, vinegar, hemp seeds, and red pepper flakes. Blend until pureed.
Toss the potatoes with the pesto. Garnish with flaky sea salt, crushed red pepper flakes, and oregano leaves. Serve immediately.
*It’s important to let the potatoes cool before tossing with the pesto, otherwise they will start to cook the broccoli, which will affect the flavor and color of this dish.
*To make ahead, the pesto will save, tightly covered with plastic, in the refrigerator for about a day. However, eventually the acid in the pesto will start to “cook” the broccoli, which will lead to the same issue described in the note above.