Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cilantro Pesto

I love pesto and its versatility.  Perfect on pasta, as a replacement for pizza sauce, as a dip for crusty french bread.

I had a large bunch of cilantro left after using some to add freshness to a curry dish I made for dinner one night.  Why not use it up and try making a cilantro pesto? 

The results were fantastic.  I used the sauce to marinate cod fillets for dinner.  I mixed it with some mayonnaise and used it as a sandwich spread.  My favorite was the cilantro pesto hummus that I made with my new food processor. 

Cilantro Pesto
1 bunch cilantro, washed and large stems removed
1/8 cup toasted pine nuts (or walnuts...or pepitas)
1 garlic clove, mined
2 tablespoons diced red onion
1/2 teaspoon chili paste or sriracha
A splash of vinegar, or a few squeezes of lime juice, or both
1/4 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients (except for olive oil) in a blender or food processor.  Turn the appliance on and slowly stream in the olive oil until the mixture starts to blend.  Process until the pesto is smooth or reaches your desired consistency.

Cilantro Pesto Hummus

1 garlic clove
1 (14.5 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup cilantro pesto (recipe above)
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place the garlic clove in a food processor and process until minced.  Add the chickpeas, water, and pesto.  Turn the food processor on and slowly stream in the olive oil, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Mix for about 1-2 minutes, or until the hummus is smooth. Season with salt and pepper.


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