Monday, May 09, 2011

Quick cilantro pesto recipe

I was stuck with a rather large bunch of cilantro and ran out of ideas of what to do with it (after knocking out two batches of guacamole).  Then I remembered having a delicious cilantro pesto on pasta, and found this recipe on It's for a composed salad with roasted beets, etc. but I pounced on the pesto section of the recipe, which turned out great!  Tasty, bright, good depth of flavor, refreshing and best of all, EASY and fast because it's made in a blender or food processor!

This has no cheese, but because of the pine nuts still has a rich taste without it.  And the mint punches it up a bit so it's not too heavy.  I tried it out on grilled tilapia, then a lambchop, next I'll thin it and use it as a pasta sauce. Perfect for warmer weather when you want lighter flavors. 

I'm going to revisit this and try to find a #nutfree alternative for the nut-allergic peeps in the house soon!  Recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, peanut-free, egg-free.  Can be made citrus-free. 


Cilantro Pesto:
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 bunch fresh chives, coarsely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup (packed) fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped seeded jalapeño chile
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled (I used shallots instead)
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (I used white balsamic vinegar instead)

Puree first 9 ingredients in blender until smooth. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Reblend before continuing.) Whisk in lime juice.

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