Some of my favourite favourite meals involve a simple formula.
Basically it’s a big bowl of veggies + a sauce + something really tasty.
The veggies can be warm or cold, depending on the weather so it’s super versatile.
I always have a stash of steamed veg in the fridge or freezer so I know there is always a ‘good bowl’ just around the corner.
This combo of salty feta, briny olives and pesto is one I first played around with in a frittata.
But I like the ‘ginormous’ flavours even more in this free form bowl.
And in case you don’t have a 4-year-old in the house ginormous is gigantic + enormous.
We’re talking seriously big flavours.
Which one day said 4-year-old will grow to appreciate.
I live in hope.
The Good Greens
- large bunch green veg (broccoli / Kale / collard greens / chard / Brussels sprouts / asparagus) 400g (14oz)
- 1-2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons pesto
- 100 g feta crumbled (3.5oz)
- 1 handful pitted olives (50g / 2oz)
Bring 1cm (1/2in) deep salted water to the boil in a medium saucepan. If using broccoli, chop into bite sized trees and slice the stems. If using kale, collards, chard or other greens slice them crosswise into 1cm thick ribbons. (You can remove the stems if you want less chewing – but I generally leave them in). If using brussels sprouts, halve or quarter them. And asparagus can be chopped crosswise into 1/3s.
Pop prepared veg into the pot and cover with a lid. Simmer rapidly for 5 minutes (for broccoli, brussels sprouts and asparagus) or 2-3 minutes for leafy veg.
When the veg are no longer crunchy. Drain well – squeeze out the excess moisture from leafy greens.
Pop the cooked veg in a bowl or chill in the fridge if you prefer the Summer option. Season veg with soy sauce.
Top with feta, olives and pesto. And prepare for the flavour explosions!
NET CARBS: 24g/ serve for broccoli OR 17g/serve for chard
Variations for pesto, olives, feta, greens
pantry-friendly – use frozen veg.
short on time – replace veg with baby spinach leaves.
keto / ultra low carb – replace veg with baby spinach leaves.
dairy-free – replace feta with chicken, tuna, chunks or avocado, roasted pine nuts, macadamias or almonds. Or go for the decadence of 2 sauces with some almond hummus.
more substantial (carb lovers) – cooked pasta, warm pita, rice, tortilla chips.
more substantial (low carb) – more of everything! roast almonds, pine nuts or macadamias. Add chunks or avocado.
Low FODMAP – use baby spinach instead of steamed veg. And make a garlic-free pesto.
different vegetables – feel free to add any raw or cooked veg you happen to have on hand. This is an excellent vehicle for using up different bits and pieces.
different protein – quick pulled chicken, boiled, fried or poached eggs, sausages, bacon, cooked chickpeas, lentils.
different cheese – shaved parmsean, goats cheese, a sharp cheddar, pecorino, creamy ricotta. Bascially whatever cheese you have. Grilled halloumi.
more fancy / for entertaining – It’s pretty impressive as is. Maybe some fresh herbs like basil or parsley.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
broccoli – will keep wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Can be frozen (if you have time chop before freezing so it will defrost quickly in the pan).
kale / collard greens / chard – will keep in the fridge in a plastic bag uncooked for 1-2 weeks. Once cooked it will keep for a month or so in the fridge. Can be frozen both cooked or raw.
brussels sprouts – will keep for a few weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. Can be frozen.
asparagus – can be frozen but best to use for another meal.
soy sauce / pitted olives – keep them in the pantry.
pesto – commercial jars of pesto will keep for months in the pantry. Fresh pesto will keep in the fridge for a few weeks. Cover with olive oil to prevent exposure to air and browning reactions. Can be frozen.
feta – keeps for months unopened in its packet. Or can be frozen.
Yes! Just cook the veg as per the recipe but keep the feta, olives and pesto separately. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or can be frozen. To serve, use veg chilled or warm them in a pan with a little oil before adding remaining ingredients.
Recipes Similar to Pesto Olives Feta Greens
- Cacio e Pepe Broccoli
- Gorgeous Greens Tart
- Tuscan Greens Soup
- Sausage, Broccoli & Chilli Bowls
- Lemon Basil Roast Chicken
- Broccoli al Limone