A Sea of Cilantro

cilantroIt’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 Pesto

1 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.

    imgp7072Use 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.

    3 responses to “A Sea of Cilantro

    1. This was the best cilantro pesto recipe I’ve ever had! We had this tonight as a pasta sauce mixed with sauted spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms. The blend of flavors was exquisite.

    2. I’m so glad you liked it, Shannon! Did you add any cheese? We thought it could use a little, so we grated some grana padano on top. I don’t think that was the best match, though. Honestly, I think some plain ol’ ricotta mixed in could be great…

    3. No, we eat mostly vegan so I don’t use cheese to cook with, but it was awesome without!

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