Random Recipes – Cilantro Pesto

26 May

I adore fresh cilantro, but couldn’t grow enough to satisfy my needs, so I often buy bunches.  As a result, I often have partial bunches of cilantro in my refrigerator, which will slowly turn into a disgusting, dark brown, primordial ooze if I don’t do something with it.  I’m getting better at catching it early these days and one of my favorite things is to make a bit of cilantro pesto, which can be frozen for later use.  You do need at least a small food processor for this.  I use a rocket blender that my friend Mary Beth gave me.  I also love my rocket blender for vinaigrettes, sauces and marinades.

The quantity of ingredients will vary depending on how much cilantro you have on hand, but assuming I have a half of bunch left (again, an imprecise measurement):

  • Cilantro, half a bunch, washed and picked over, tough center stems removed (just leaves and tender stems)
  • Garlic, one clove, cut into small pieces to make it easier to process
  • 2 T Pine nuts (although I often substitute walnuts or almonds if I have them on hand and need to use them up)
  • 2 T shredded or grated Parmesan cheese (again, you can substitute another hard, nutty cheese if you have something to use up)
  • Olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Put the nuts and garlic and a pinch of salt in the food processor fitted with the knife blade and process until chopped.  Add the cheese and cilantro, and process until well ground, drizzling a bit of oil into the mixture as you go.  In the rocket blender, I add a bit of oil to start, then stop and add a bit more and so on.  Continue processing until all of the cilantro is well chopped.  I find this makes a somewhat creamier textured pesto than that made with basil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

I recommend putting a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pesto so that it won’t turn brown, and then covering it to refrigerate or freeze.  It should keep a few months in the freezer, a couple of days in the refrigerator.


Now what to do with it?  I love to slather it on fish before baking or grilling.  Anywhere you might normally use garlic and cilantro will be just fine for this.  With roast pork?  Tossed with pasta?  I recently had a party where we served a variety of fillings for tacos and flatbreads:   grilled flank steak, black beans, mole, grilled chicken, grilled vegetables, assorted salsas and so on.  The cilantro pesto was a hit, and best of all, I took it out of my freezer for this occasion, along with the mole, which I will publish soon.  So easy!

3 Responses to “Random Recipes – Cilantro Pesto”

  1. trixfred30 May 26, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    My wife wil likt this one – pesto pasta is her favourite!

    • Mrs. U. May 26, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

      I hope she likes it! Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Quickies – Fish with Onion, Herbs and Butter « Planned Overs - June 5, 2012

    […] needed to try Malou’s recipe, but didn’t have any cilantro (must have made it all into cilantro pesto!) and my scallions were in a terribly sorry state.  This dish is a really simple concept, […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: