Cilantro Pesto


This stuff’s versatile!  It’s good with everything from pasta to quesadillas (a word that Chrome wants to “correct” to peccadilloes, which tickles me).  My 6 year old likes to dunk chips in it and eat it like a dip or salsa.

pestoThis is one of those non-measuring kinda recipes.  You go by taste.  I tend to just chuck stuff in until I’ve got something I like.  The measurements that follow are rough at best.  FYI – requires a food processor.

  • 2 cups fresh cilantro, stems and all
  • 1/4 cup roasted pinenuts (I’ve used raw pinenuts as well, and the end result was good times)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese or parmesan cheese substitute
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 6 tbsp olive oil

Again, these measurements are just starting guidelines.  Add more salt.  Add less pepper.  Mess with the garlic.  You name it – whatever tastes good to you.  Regarding the parmesan, Food Whole sells a pre-shredded vegetarian (vegetable rennet) variety as well as a soy based fake version.

Anyway, chuck your pine nuts into your food processor and pulse ’em til they’re like a very coarse meal.  Add the cilantro, garlic and parmesan and pulse away til everything’s nice and chopped up.  Pour in 4-6 tablespoons of olive oil,  salt and pepper and pulse away.  Continue pulsing, and if necessary adding oil, until you’ve achieved your desired consistency for pesto.  Taste it during this process – you may want to add more salt or pepper.

Try jazzing it up with something hot, like a pinch of chipotle powder or a little sriracha.  Or make it tangier with a bit of lemon juice.  I’ve even considered sneaking a little pineapple into the mix.  Make it your own!


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