Saturday, December 4, 2010

Presto. Cilantro Pesto

I've always wondered what to do with that extra cilantro sitting in the fridge.  Most often after one use I end up tossing it, which is a terrible feeling for a person who absolutely cannot waste.  This time around I couldn't bear to let another good bunch go bad, so while it was still perky and green I tried to imagine creative ways to put it to use.  This pesto recipe was the inspired dish.  Basil pesto is awesome but because the taste is so familiar, replacing it with cilantro is a completely refreshing familiar taste.  The lime gives it a light tanginess, and the variety of nuts give it great texture. Cilantro also has the benefits of containing antiviral, antibacterial and antioxidant properties (among many others), making it an ideal germ fighter for this winter season.  And because there is no cooking involved, pesto is incredibly quick to make.  Easy, tasty and healthy are all good in my books, and now in my recipe book too :o)
Recipe for Cilantro Pesto 
  • 1 large bunch of fresh cilantro, washed and dried thoroughly (about 3 cups, loosely packed)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup mix of *pine nuts, walnuts and almonds (or any one or two of them)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste
*I like to use raw nuts but roasted are fine too.

Roughly chop up the cilantro leaves and stems.  Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Delicious with pasta, in a sandwich, as a dip or served over fish or chicken.  Makes about a cup and a half.