This Super Easy Cilantro Pesto recipe is a simple, healthy condiment you can make in 5 minutes. Enjoy it on crackers, as a chicken marinade, tossed with pasta, brushed on grilled shrimp, or mixed into a creamy or olive oil salad dressing.
So many delicious cilantro possibilities! We LOVE it!
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Does anyone else have cilantro that’s about to bolt from their garden? We grow quite a bit of cilantro (ahem… my dad, who lives next door and gardens like a pro, grows quite a bit of cilantro) and there’s always a mad dash to use it before it goes to seed and is done for the summer. Cilantro is a delicate herb and it doesn’t take well to being dried or frozen. I’ve tried both, with sad, sad results. 🙁
Enter this Super Easy Cilantro Pesto. The other day I went to the garden and chopped down a big handful of cilantro, half of which was going to seed already. Then I stripped the leaves and fronds off the tougher stems, and about five minutes later was munching on this delicious spread.
It really is THAT easy.
Sounds like a great way to preserve cilantro to me! I’m sticking a small jar in the freezer to make sure, but I fully expect it to hold up well if I drizzle a thin layer of oil over the top of the cilantro pesto before I put the lid on.
“BUT WAIT!” you’re thinking. “I don’t have a garden!”
Fear not, my friend, this recipe is still totally within reach. At the larger grocery stores near where I live (which is a pretty expensive place, grocery-wise), a huge bunch of cilantro can be yours for just $2.49. Enough to make this recipe.
What that means is that for just a few dollars of ingredients, you can enjoy this delicious, dare I say rather decadent, spread at home. This is something that isn’t usually sold at grocery stores, which makes it a bit special. And if you’re a cilantro-lover (and I know, not everyone is!), it’s definitely worth a try!
PS – If you’re not sure where to get pumpkin seeds, I find they’re a decent price at Walmart (Joe’s Tasty Travels Brand).
PPS – If you make this and then wonder what to do with it, here are a few ideas! We’ve already eaten it on crackers as part of an appetizer tray, and mixed it with yogurt for a chicken marinade (both delicious!).
I also have big plans to toss it with hot pasta and cheese, brush it on grilled shrimp, spread it on a sandwich, and mix it with a bit of mayo and yogurt for salad dressing (or even just olive oil). Lots of possibilities.
Guess I’d better go find some more cilantro. 🙂
Super Easy Cilantro Pesto – Step-by-Step Instructions
Super Easy Cilantro Pesto – Ingredients
Want to know a great way to mince a lot of garlic quickly? You’ll need a food processor (I’m lucky enough to have this one and I LOVE IT).
Peel it and then turn your empty food processor on. Drop the garlic through the feed tube at the top of the processor and watch it bounce around and get perfectly minced inside. Then continue with your recipe.
For this recipe I used 4 large cloves of garlic. It was pretty intensely garlicky (which is great because we love garlic) when it was first made (it had a bit of a garlic ‘burn’) but it mellowed after a day in the fridge.
You can also just use less garlic if you want, but I wouldn’t leave it out completely!
Once the garlic is minced, stuff 2 packed cups of cilantro into the bowl of the food processor and add 1/2 cup of unsalted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
Tip: (I love this type of juicer – it’s so easy)
Put the lid on and pulse until the cilantro starts to break down and form a paste.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, put the lid back on, turn the machine on, and with it running, add 1/4 cup oil through the feed tube.
You can use olive oil if you want. I used avocado oil. Either way is fine.
That’s it folks! Scrape it into a bowl and enjoy! 🙂
Super Easy Cilantro Pesto
- 2 cups cilantro packed
- 4 cloves garlic can use less if you want
- 1/2 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1/4 cup lime juice freshly squeezed**
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup healthy oil olive oil or avocado oil
- Peel garlic. Turn food processor* on and drop whole garlic cloves through feed tube. Watch it mince perfectly in the bowl of the food processor.
- Stuff cilantro into the bowl of the food processor and add unsalted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), fresh-squeezed lime juice**, salt and pepper. Put the lid on and pulse until the cilantro starts to break down and form a paste.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, put the lid back on, turn the machine on, and with it running, add oil through the feed tube.
- Empty it into a bowl and enjoy! 🙂
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