I must admit that I’m challenged when it comes to fresh herbs. Unless I already have a recipe in mind and buy what I need, I don’t usually know what to do with fresh herbs. There are two herbs that I do know what to do with – mint and basil.
One of the things I make with basil is a classic pesto, so when I got a bunch of cilantro in my CSA I thought that I could try to figure out a similar recipe for it. However, an entire recipe of just cilantro would be a rather overwhelming flavor and since I also had some spinach in my CSA that went into the recipe too.
The pesto can be used right away or mellowed in the fridge for a little while. The flavors really come together if you have time to let it sit for a few days even and you can then use it for several recipes over the week.
I will post recipes in the future that will use this pesto, but play around with it your self. Because of the cilantro I think it brings a slightly Tex-Mex/Mexican flavor to things, so keep that in mind when you are mixing it with other foods.
A note on the oil, I think the flavor it much better with the mix of oils, but if you want to use all olive or avocado that’s fine too.
Pine nuts, 2 tbsp toasted
Cilantro, ½ cup packed
Spinach, 2 cups packed
Garlic, 3-5 cloves
Lemon juice, 1 lemon’s worth
Olive oil, ½ cup
Avocado oil, ½ cup
Salt and pepper to taste
Serves: makes about 1.5 cups (just under a pint jar full)
Time – prep and cooking: 15 minutes (this includes toasting the pine nuts)
1. Put the pine nuts, cilantro, spinach, and garlic in a food processor or blender and pulse until everything is finely chopped and mixed together.
2. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, avocado oil, and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Done!
What kinds of pesto have you made?