For those who are not familiar with pesto, this garnishing or marinating sauce originated in the Italian town of Genoa (pesto genovese), and traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil, and European pine nuts blended with olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and a sheep’s milk cheese called Fiore Sardo.
Though cilantro pesto is traditionally prepared by crushing its ingredients in a marble mortar with a wooden pestle until it has a creamy consistency, this can be done in a food processor or a blender as well.
Fresh pesto can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight jar or plastic container and will last for about a week. It can also be frozen for later use, but don’t forget to use plastic containers for freezing as glass could break.
For anyone with a milk allergy or intolerance, we’ve prepared a vegan version that doesn’t include any cheese and uses slightly different ingredients. We hope you enjoy it!
- ½ cup whole almonds (with or without skin), crushed
- 2 cups cilantro, without large stems, lightly packed
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- In a food processor or coffee grinder, crush almonds into fine crumbs.
- Add all ingredients to a food processor or a blender and blend into desired consistency or until smooth.
- Keep refrigerated until serving.
Some pesto uses:
– as a spread on toasted or fresh bread;
– in pastas;
– on pizza;
– in sandwiches and panini;
– on meats or grilled veggies–to flavor while cooking or as a garnish on prepared food;
– in salads.