Broccoli rabe with deconstructed walnut parsley pesto: doesn’t that sound fancy? Don’t be fooled, “deconstructed” here is synonymous with “lazy.” Instead of traditional pesto, which is technically a sauce, I roughly chopped all of the pesto ingredients and literally threw them on the cooked broccoli rabe. Walnuts and parsley were used because it’s what I had on hand; walnuts and parsley are also cheaper than pine nuts and basil used in traditional pesto (but equally nutritious!). I’m going to be honest: not everyone likes broccoli rabe. It can be bitter. But the bitterness is precisely the reason you should learn to love it.
WHY IT’S HEALTHY// When a bitter food touches your taste receptors, the production of gastric acid is stimulated in the stomach. Gastric acid activates digestive enzymes and bile, which promote healthy digestion. And better digestion = absorption of nutrients! Bitter foods are also notoriously nutrient dense (think dandelion greens, dark chocolate, milk thistle, kale). Broccoli rabe contains vitamins A, C, K and B-6, iron, magnesium, and potassium. It also contains the antioxidant lutein, which is accumulated in the human retina and may serve to protect against UV light. //
This is a great side dish for fall and winter months. Enjoy!