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Plant-based food blogger Carleigh Bodrug—author of the cookbook PlantYou—uses broccoli stems in this creamy low-waste pesto. It's part of her "Scrappy Cooking" series, which focuses on transforming common food scraps into delicious recipes that don't break the bank.

The pesto can be used as you would any pesto. Tossed with cold farfalle, tomatoes, broccoli and parsley, it makes a healthy pasta salad that's perfect for a barbecue, work lunch or dinner at home. No one will ever guess that the main ingredient is broccoli stems! And if you have a little leftover pasta in the pot or in the box, click here for Carleigh's take on the viral TikTok pasta chips.

For more of Carleigh's Scrappy Cooking recipes, check out her Crunchy Broccoli Stem Fries and Strawberry Top Vinegar.


For the Pesto:
  • 2 broccoli stems, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large handful fresh basil
  • 1 large handful fresh parsley
  • ½  cup cashews, soaked overnight
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth or extra-virgin olive oil 
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
For the Pasta Salad:
  • 14 ounces cooked and cooled farfalle pasta  (reserve some of the cooking water)
  • 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli florets
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Black pepper


Serves: 4


For the pesto, place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor and process until completely smooth. Add some reserved pasta water to thin, if desired.

For the pasta salad, combine the cooked pasta with the pesto in a large bowl. Add the cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets and parsley and toss until thoroughly combined.

Serve with pepper flakes and black pepper.