Cilantro is one of those love it or hate it foods. You rarely come across someone who does not have a passionate response – either positive or negative – toward cilantro. Perhaps it’s the soapy flavor that some people experience, or perhaps it’s just that cilantro has a strong odor that really sticks with you.
Personally, I love cilantro, and it’s a staple in my garden, from spring through fall. The past few years I’ve been working hard to successively sow cilantro so we have it through the entire salsa season. This year, volunteer plants have popped up all over the garden, making cilantro growing effortless at last.
I had to pull a few larger plants last weekend to make room for peppers, and decided to use them to make a batch of cilantro pesto. I jotted down notes as I made it so I could share it here, but keep in mind that pesto is a very forgiving food. Feel free to adjust any of these proportions to your liking. Add more garlic, use shallots instead, throw in a hot pepper, add a dash of cumin, etc.
Cilantro Pesto Recipe (makes about 1 cup pesto)
4 cups cilantro
4 cloves of garlic (Learn the best tips for growing your own garlic in this post.)
1/2 – 1 tsp salt
1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil
juice of 1/2 lime (about 2 Tbsp)
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the pesto reaches the desired consistency.
- You may need to scrape the sides down once or twice.
- Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Use fresh, or store in an 8 oz mason jar and freeze.
I like to add Cilantro Pesto to Mexican-inspired dishes like pinto beans and rice. You might also try it in an egg frittata, or as a topping on pizza! Or cook up some veggies and udon noodles and coat them with the cilantro pesto.