I love cilantro, but I can hardly ever use an entire bunch before it goes bad. So, when my CSA box showed up with a beautiful bunch of cilantro last week, I knew I couldn’t let it go to waste. Enter cilantro pesto.
I threw the cilantro, some walnuts, a jalapeno (why not?), ample parmesan and olive oil, and some other odds and ends into the food processor, and, after a little tasting and adjustment, the result was delicious.
We used the pesto as a spread on a grilled cheese sandwich, and it was divine (and an easy weeknight dinner, to boot). The leftovers served as a sauce for some frozen ravioli a couple of days later — also delicious and easy. This is definitely going to be my go-to use for cilantro in the future.
Spicy Cilantro Pesto
1 bunch cilantro, washed
1 jalapeno, stem end removed and halved*
1/2 cup walnuts**
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 tsp salt
Juice of one lime
Combine the cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the olive oil in a stream with the mixer running. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and pulse until well combined. Add the salt and lime juice and pulse until combined.
* You can also remove the seeds and veins if you don’t want too much of a kick. Wuss.
** You can always substitute pine nuts, pecans, almonds, or pretty much any nuts of your choosing. For a nut-free pesto, you can even use sunflower seeds.