It’s been a lot of cilantro, hasn’t it? My compost heap has joined my family in reaping the benefits on more than one occasion.
It looks like we’re in for a respite from cilantro this week, but if you’re like me, you’ve still got plenty. We’ll be eating some tonight, in fact, in a pesto I made today.
My parents started making basil pesto when I was a kid, and in my book, their pesto is still the best. Since their recipe evolved from one in the Moosewood Cookbook, I turned to the Moosewood Collective when I wanted a recipe for cilantro pesto. This one, from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home, is a winner. The lemon and chile are key, and the almonds suit the cilantro flavor nicely. This recipe would multiply well. Goodness knows you don’t have a shortage of cilantro.
Cilantro Pesto1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves 1/3 cup whole almonds 1 small fresh chile, or 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice 1/4 cup vegetable oil salt and ground black pepper to taste
Whiz everything but the oil in a food processor until finely chopped. With motor running, drizzle in the oil and season.
Use within a week, or freeze in ice-cube trays, then store frozen in bags or containers. Thaw gently so as not to scare off the flighty flavors. Our favorite way is to set a cube or two in a glass dish over simmering water. (The microwave will steal far too much flavor.) Better yet, remember to take dinner pesto out of the freezer in the morning.