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Nutty Roasted Broccoli Pesto [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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While we typically associate pesto with pasta, this roasted broccoli pesto pairs amazingly well with toast for breakfast, on a sandwich, and yes — on pasta, too. It’s rich and nutty from the almonds and roasted leeks, but the abundance of lemon makes it feel fresh. Thinly sliced, spicy radishes pair perfectly with the roasty, lemony flavors.

Nutty Roasted Broccoli Pesto [Vegan, Gluten-Free]




  • 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


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F,
  2. 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 vegetables and rotate the baking sheet at the 12-minute mark to prevent burning. Reduce oven temperature if you notice the leeks are getting too crispy. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  3. While the vegetables 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Garnish with sprouts and extra lemon. Serve with radishes, carrots, and your favorite toast or crackers.





Crowd-pleasing, nourishing, veggie-filled recipes that use adventurous global flavors and simple ingredients. I'm Jodi, author, creator and photographer of happy hearted kitchen blog. Food to me is so much more than just a recipe or a grocery list, it's about gathering people around a table for a moment of real nourishment. I cook vegetarian, mostly vegan, meals and have a love affair with seasonal produce. I also whole heartedly believe in the power of a good cookie and a cup of tea, it can completely turn your day around. Just like eating, I know that life is all about balance, and as much as I love being in the kitchen, I also need moments exploring the outdoors. Mountains, camping, hiking, skiing - every adventure needs good snacks. Hoping my happy hearted kitchen fills your hearts, bellies + kitchen tables.



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