Can I make pesto with cilantro instead of basil?

  • Posted by: hans
  • January 5, 2017


SKK January 5, 2017
I have made pesto (with cheese and olive oil, don't seem to need pine nuts) with everything including carrot tops, kale, zucchini and fennel. In my view, it depends on the flavor profile you want. Have also mixed basil with all of the above.
Smaug January 5, 2017
Linguistically correct, but it won't be an appropriate substitute for Basil pesto- you can make catsup out of fish, too.
PHIL January 5, 2017
You must really like cilantro. I have come to like it in small doses , not sure I could handle it in a pesto. Parsley makes nice pesto too.
ChefJune January 5, 2017
You can make pesto with pretty much any herb or vegetable you want. "Pesto" is the Italian word for pounded.Use any combination that sounds (and tastes) good to you!
ChefJune January 5, 2017
And BTW, neither nuts nor cheese are required for your condiment to be pesto.
Nancy January 5, 2017
Chef June, right on all counts. I was just (perhaps lazily) riffing on the spine of the Genoese version.
Nancy January 5, 2017
Of course.
Some purists will call it another name, but the spine of the dish - herbs, garlic, olive oil, nuts, cheese - can be the same with many variations.
If you're using it for Asian meals, you can add some lemon grass or use it instead of garlic.
If for Mexican or other Latin food, consider adding some chiles and using a Mexican cheese.
hans January 5, 2017
Thank you Nancy! I am a beginner cook (I'm in highschool, we have the day off) and am making a penne pasta with chicken, artichoke, olives, tomatoes and am going to make that pesto! Thanks again!
Nancy January 5, 2017
Hans - wonderful...glad to help...hope the dish turns out well! When you have time, have a look around the web - there are pestos from four types of nuts, from different herbs (parsley, sorrel, arugula), different cheeses (roman, cotija, ricotta) and then different herbs or spices to complement them.
hans January 5, 2017
Finally finished making the pasta and dang does this pesto taste good!
hans January 5, 2017

There is a picture on that.
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