Thu 21 Mar 2019
Read other related stories: Broccoli , Marinades, Rubs. Toppings & Sauces , Vegetables
I purchased several heads of broccoli recently and decided to smoke them using one of my favorite short cut methods for smoke vapor infusion. My Nordic Ware Kettle Stove Top Smoker allows me to get the flavor level I like in about 20 minutes using only my stove for fuel.
Once I have my broccoli smoked, I’m going to produce a smoked broccoli pesto that is perfect for so many foods and purposes. This is super easy and doesn’t take a lot of time to make and it keeps well in the refrigerator.
Easy Smoking Technique
Here are the steps I used for smoking in the Nordic Ware unit but you can adapt these to pretty much any stovetop unit.
I’ve placed the unit on the largest burner of my stove top, added about ¼ cup of Minuto® Wood Chips #4 from SmokinLicious® in the base pan, topped with the drip pan, and then added the food tray with the broccoli cut into florets. Total time to smoke and tenderize the broccoli will be about 20 minutes. Usually a medium-high heat setting generates about 275°F of heat for the cooking process just target to be in the 275-300°F range. With the broccoli smoked, it’s time to make the pesto. In addition to the smoked broccoli, there are 6 additional ingredients: salt, pepper, basil leaves, olive oil, lemon juice and grated Parmesan cheese.
Tasting Notes: You can use any method of smoking the broccoli based on the equipment you have available but if you do want to try a stove top method without having to purchase a ready-made unit, try our method using a standard 2-quart stockpot.
A Quick Process to Pesto
Pesto is one of those items that is simple to make but so many people will buy ready-made from the store. You’ll get a much fresher taste quality when you produce your own.
Start by getting a large capacity food processor with a standard blade. Place the smoked broccoli florets in the processor bowl, followed by a ¼ cup grated parmesan, ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves, 3 tablespoons olive oil, juice from ½ a lemon, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper. Process all the ingredients until smooth. You likely will need to add a bit more olive oil to reach the right consistency for your taste. Remember, this is going to produce about 2 cups of pesto so start with a lighter amount of oil as this ingredient can be added later when you decide how you’re planning to use the pesto. For me, I’ll be starting with a simple pesto noodle that I intended to add some sliced pork to.
Tasting Notes: Each food processor is different so start on pulse and then work to maintain the motor on for a smooth result. Feel free to drizzle additional olive oil into the mixture while the processor is running, just do so in drips rather than a stream amount.
Think Endless Uses
There are so many uses for our smoked broccoli pesto! I’ll be adding ¼ of my 2-cup pesto production to some hot egg noodles that will act as a bed to lay some Asian marinated pork in.
Here are some other uses to consider: use in rice, pastas that have ridges for the pesto to cling to, on a sandwich, or use as a topping for chicken, fish, and pork. I’m sure you’ll come up with other great uses as well. The batch you make from the single head of broccoli will last for about 7-10 days if stored in the refrigerator. If you can store in glass, it will likely last longer. With broccoli readily available most of the year, this is a treat to be enjoyed anytime!
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