I am what you may call a Cilantrophobe. While I do think it is beautiful in its leafy green state in the ground, I find the smell, taste and flavor most unpleasant. I don't totally mind it if a little is in with my salsa, but when I bite into one of those big leafs, it is like having a big bite of soap on my chip or something. Anyway, when cilantro showed up in my CSA box this week, I was seriously not sure what to do. I couldn't think of any single thing that I would want to eat that I could make to use it. However, I very much dislike wasting anything, so I decided to do what I do with parsley (only slightly less offensive than cilantro), which is make a pesto with it. This way, when I get that recipe that calls for cilantro, I don't have to either skip it and wonder if it really made a difference- or worse yet, go buy some just to get one tablespoon for a recipe or something. I have to admit, having parsley pesto in my freezer has made for a very handy addition to pasta salads and quinoa salads and fish and .......Anyway, I figured salt and garlic could only help the flavor and wouldn't likely conflict with any recipe I may stumble upon that would ask for the dreaded herb. Much to my amazement and a mix of delight and shame, I found myself actually eating this out of the food processor with a spoon. It is delicious! This recipe is adapted from one out of my favorite cookbook by Mark Bittman called How to Cook Everything.
PS: Here is a link to the usual house fav around here: Spinach Basil Pesto
- 1 bunch cilantro leaves (top stems ok), rinsed and patted dry
- 1 clove garlic
- 3T olive oil
- 1-2T freshly squeezed lime juice
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Pulse/blend all ingredients together in blender or food processor until it is the consistency you are looking for. I prefer it to be fairly coarsely chopped up, so I probably pulsed mine 10x at 1-2s pulses.
Optional next step to freeze in 1-2T amounts in ice cube tray for a few hours. You can either store them in the tray, or transfer them to a different container to keep frozen.
|If freezing, simply take a cube out of the freezer 10 minutes or so before use to thaw!|
This will be delicious in salads, pasta salads, dressings, on fish or maybe even a marinade for pork, not to mention in salsas.....