A classic pesto is made with basil, of course, but our version uses broccolette for a change of pace. This pesto makes a great addition to pasta - just toss it into some hot shells or orechiette with a little pasta cooking liquid and some Parmesan cheese. It's also delicious spread on a veggie sandwich or on toasted baguette slices for an unusual hors d'oeuvre. This is a great way to get your kids to eat their vegetables in disguise.
Cut the broccolette florets from the stalks and set aside. Cut the stalks into 1-inch pieces. If the stalks are thicker than a pencil, cut them in half lengthwise.
Bring a medium-size pan of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon salt and the broccolette stalks. Cook, uncovered, for 6 minutes, then add the florets. Cook until the broccolette is very tender, about another 3 to 5 minutes. Immediately drain and plunge the broccolette into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. When cool, drain again thoroughly.
Place the nuts, garlic, and parsley in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture is roughly chopped. Add the broccolette and pulse until finely chopped. Add the olive oil and process until the mixture is relatively smooth.
Transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the cheese and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature for the best flavor.