Broccoli Tapenade ♥

Broccoli Tapenade, another versatile vegetable spread ♥ Great for Meal Prep. Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free.
A simple broccoli spread, just steamed broccoli and ground almonds bound by a touch of mayonnaise brightened with lemon and spiked with a spoonful of hot sauce. It's spreadable and scoopable, dipable and fillable, a sort of broccoli "salad" akin to meaty "salads" like chicken salad, tuna salad, egg salad, ham salad, say. It's easy to mix a batch using extra broccoli cooked for dinner.

Real Food, Fast & Casual. Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Budget Friendly. Little Effort, Big Taste. Great for Meal Prep. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegetarian & Easily Converted to Vegan. Naturally Gluten Free.

What's In a Name?

Instead of Broccoli Tapenade, I might have called this simple broccoli concoction "broccoli spread" or "broccoli pesto" or "broccoli dip" or even "broccoli salad". But none of these names really work, do they? That's because this mix of ground broccoli and almonds is all about the flexibility of how we use it, some times to scoop, some times to spread, some times to ... you get the idea. But let me be more specific. This stuff is a winner, whatever its name.

How to Use Broccoli Tapenade: Some Ideas

OPEN-FACED Toast a slice of good bread, we're especially fond of using a skillet to "toast" the bread, ala Fried Bread. Spread a little Broccoli Tapenade on top, then add a little tomato or cheese.
IN A PITA Place a scoop inside a pita pocket, add a tomato-cucumber salad, some spinach leaves and something creamy like feta or Homemade Ricotta.
INSIDE A WRAP Spread on a briefly cooked tortilla. Top with some grated cheese, drained pickles, chopped tomato and chopped lettuce. Fold together like a wrap, cut in half and dig in!
MAKE IT A THREESOME Build a bed of salad greens and a few chopped vegetables. Add a scoop of Chicken Salad for Sandwiches, Easy Ham Salad and Broccoli Tapenade. Tuna salad? Sure! Egg salad? That too.
SCOOP IT UP Put out a bowl of Broccoli Tapenade with some crackers or chips or scoops.
GRILL IT Put cheese on two slices of bread, add a layer of Broccoli Tapenade in between. Grill like a grilled cheese sandwich.

Broccoli Tapenade, another versatile vegetable spread ♥ Great for Meal Prep. Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free.


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes
Makes 3-1/3 cups

This makes quite a lot and needs using up with about three days. Be sure to have a plan for how to use it or consider making a half batch.

2 large broccoli crowns, about 1-1/4 pounds/565g

2 cloves (6g) garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (13g) loosely packed fresh cilantro
1/2 cup (80g) toasted almonds
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Zest 1 lemon
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Frank's hot sauce plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Steamed Broccoli (about 1 pound)

STEAM THE BROCCOLI Trim the broccoli and peel the stems. Cut the crowns into florets and the stems into rounds. Place the stems on the bottom of a collapsible steamer, then the florets stem-side down on top of the stems. Bring an inch of water to boil in a pot. Insert the collapsible steamer, cover the pot and let steam for exactly five minutes. Turn off the heat, drain the water, return the collapsible steamer, cover and let rest for exactly five minutes. Let cool a bit. Need more detail or step-by-step photos? Please see How To Steam Broccoli.

MIX THE TAPENADE While the broccoli steams, pulse the garlic and salt in the bowl of a food processor until the garlic is minced, scraping the sides as necessary. Add the cilantro and almonds, process until evenly chopped with nuts, especially in the desired texture. (My preference is noticeable almonds not almond butter.) Transfer to a work bowl. Stir in the mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, hot sauce and pepper. When the broccoli is cool, pulse in the food processor until it reaches the desired consistency. (My preference is obvious broccoli, neither chunky nor smooth.) Transfer the broccoli to the work bowl and stir into the tapenade mixture. Taste and adjust the mayonnaise, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste.

MAKE-AHEAD Best and freshest on the first day but thanks to the lemon juice, stays bright green for several days.

LEFTOVERS Best used within three days.

FYI The specific recipe first published on this page in 2006 turned out to be less than enticing so I've replaced it with a recipe I really love and am proud to recommend. There are some recipes like this from A Veggie Venture's first year when I experimented with a new vegetable recipe every day for an entire year. There are many, many recipes which stand the test of time (see 15 Favorite Vegetable Recipes, Still Useful After 15 Years!) but there were also a few duds. I'm slowly replacing the duds with winners.

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Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2006, 2020 & 2021 (repub)

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.