Friday, 2 July 2010

Broccoli bites

Some good news for me, the broccoli in my own tiny plot is nearing ready to be picked. However the dish, below was made a couple of days ago with the broccoli I picked up at the weekend.

I do like to cook from scratch, but there are days when I come in from work and want to put something relatively simple together. This is one of those dishes. It was simply lovely. The bite of the broccoli against the background hint of garlic and rosemary. The soft melt of both the cheese and pine nuts. If you do decide to give this a go, please be careful when toasting the pine nuts. They are quite pricey. The last thing you want to do is overdo them in the oven. A moment too late and they will be destined for the bin, an expensive mistake to make. I know I have done it more than once. I know - I know time to invest in an kitchen timer.
I am submitting this dish to Weekend Herb blogging or WHB as it is fondly known was started by Kalyn of Kalyns Kitchen. It is now organized by organized by Haalo of Cook Almost Anything Once. This weeks WHB#240 is being hosted by Anh from Food Lover's Journey . I think they are going to be fed up of me, as the majority of recipes I have submitted to WHB have always included the rosemary. Rosemary with its silvery needle like foliage is the one herb that I can rely on pretty much all year round as it grows quite happily in my garden, and here it is again in this pasta dish.

This is funny though, as rosemary is not a herb I grew up eating. I always associated it with meat recipes or herbal remedies. My first experiment with rosemary was like many others, simply with roast potatoes. Then as a seasoning over Jerusalem artichoke crisps. I have to admit my first taste of the rosemary salt made me wrinkle my nose, but later I realised that I had used too much rosemary as the flavour was soapy. It should just leave a hint, not dominate. I adjusted this and appreciated the flavour a little more. Then I moved onto soups: leek, rosemary and chickpea soup, then main dishes such as potatoes, rosemary and tomato bake and even a sweet things like a rosemary, lemon and parsnip tart. I know rosemary is one of those herbs that people either like or dislike, but if you haven’t tried it, I’d encourage you to do so, even if it was like me simply with roast potatoes.

Pasta shells with Broccoli, rosemary and pine kernels
Serves 2 generously
25g pine kernels
200g pasta shells
200g - 250g broccoli florets
100g blue cheese, diced (can be omitted)
1 - 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary, minced
Olive oil
1 tablespoon of parsley, chopped to garnish
Preheat oven to gas mark 6. Place the pine kernels in a hot oven to golden for about 1 minute. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, drain and set aside. Steam the broccoli for about 5 minutes. Put the broccoli, pine kernels, cheese, garlic and rosemary into a large bowl and mix together.
Drain the pasta, then return to the pan with a little olive oil. Add the remaining ingredients, heat through and serve in hot bowls with parsley sprinkled on top. Adapted from Daphne Lambert’s Little Red Gooseberries.


  1. You had me anyway, with the photo, but then I read about the blue cheese and I am gone. Mmmmmmmmm :p

  2. Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables - I can only imagine how wonderful it tastes right from the garden! I bet you're looking forward to the day when you can finally harvest yours. :)

    Meanwhile, this looks lovely. Broccoli goes so well with pasta but for some reason I don't see that combination too often. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough!

  3. Ooooh goodness. I just had dinner, but this looks scrumptious! Rosemary kinda scares me, I usually end up adding too much and it takes over the dish. But this may make me retry... :) Thanks for the push!

  4. I love rosemary - and I love broccoli, too, but somehow I've never put them together. This sounds great :)

  5. This meal is a wonderful and simply prepared weeknight meal. Love the broccoli and pine nut combination.

  6. I do love blue cheese with brocolli dishes...however, I'm very careful of the strength of the cheese I purchase because many times it will overpower the dish.
    You have a very fine group of ingredients.
    Buon appetito and flavourful wishes,

  7. This dish looks so delicious and healthy. YUMM. I love broccoli.

  8. this sounds very yummy, some of my fave flavours too. :)

  9. Thanks Jacqueline.
    My husband appreciated the addition of the blue cheese too.

    Thanks Mo.
    I have to admit, broccoli is not one of my favorite vegetables. I enjoy eating the stalks, rather than the head.

    My brocolli are ready to be harvested this week. I better keep an eye on them, other wise they will start to flower :) Good for the bees, not for me.

    Thank you for your comment awkwardcupcake.
    I agree that rosemary is one of those ingredeints you need to be careful. Just try a little at a time, you'll ge tthe balance right. I know I did eventually!

    Hello Rachel - Adventurous madam.
    Galavanting here, there and everywhere.
    Its So lovely to hear from you :)

    Thank you so much Velva.
    It was a simply prepared weeknight meal and one that was appreciated.

    Thank you Claudia.
    I agree you do need to be careful with the strength of the cheese. If they are too strong they do overpower the dish and we don't want to be spoiling the flavours or your meal.

    Thank you so, So much Edna aka HandmadeDiva.

    Glad you like Steph.

  10. This pasta dish has all of my favorite flavors and looks delicious! Love the blue cheese mixed's something I've been craving lately!

  11. I am so pleased you like this Joanne. If you make it, hope you Like!


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