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Spicy Cilantro Pesto

Spicy Cilantro Pesto 1
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Traditional pesto is an uncooked sauce made with fresh basil, garlic, parmesan or pecorino cheese, pine nuts and olive oil used in Italian cuisine that plays well with pasta and gnocchi. Here, we’re replacing the basil with its leafy amigo cilantro, skipping the cheese, and adding a splash of lime with a peppery kick of jalapeño and chipotle to create a versatile sauce that’ll bolster any savory Latin dish with a complex dose of spicy, garlicky cilantro goodness. 
 
Like basil pesto, this cilantro-centric version provides a classic, bold signature flavor to each meal it meets. Sautée veggies with it, smear it on sandwiches, quesadillas, tacos, or burritos, marinate meat or fish with it, toss it with salads or cooked grains, add it to frittatas, tortillas, or omelets, or mix it into guacamole, salsa, ceviche, or veggie and bean burgers. Blend it with half an avocado and dip baked plantains in it. Think of it as cilantro with a backbone. It’ll tango with just about anything.
 
Ingredients & Method
  • 2 cups cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 chipotle peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 /2 tsp cayenne pepper

Spicy Cilantro Pesto 2

Place half of the fresh cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, chipotle, pine nuts and olive oil to a food processor. Blend until smooth, about 5 minutes.
Add all of the remaining ingredients and resume blending until you have a smooth, saucy paste. Transfer any pesto that is not being used right away
to an airtight container. Top with olive oil before sealing (the layer of oil helps to preserve the fresh cilantro). Keep your new best flavor friend stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for about five to seven days or in your freezer for up to three to four months.
Spicy Cilantro Pesto
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Spicy Cilantro Pesto
4.5 (90%) 2 votes

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