Has anyone ever made a cilantro pesto?

I'm thinking cilantro, of which a boatload (that's only a slight exaggeration) just landed with me, oil, garlic, salt, pepper, maybe some red pepper flakes?

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a Whole Foods Market Customer

They are great!
I use pepinos for pine nuts and lime for lemon.
Give it that ole kick!
There is a commercially available one from bear pond pesto company.

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Queen of Spoons
Queen of Spoons June 14, 2011

Toasted pecans are a great nut to put in cilantro pesto. I still use some hard cheese. Pecorino and aged manchego are good options. Chile flakes might be nice, but only a pinch [ I'm not generally afraid of a spicy kick, but find cilantro pesto to be more flexible without too much heat.]

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beyondcelery
beyondcelery June 14, 2011

Sunflower seeds are a really fun addition, too!

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boulangere
boulangere June 14, 2011

Unfortunately, I'm allergic to nuts, but I love the lime idea and some cheese. And I've just got to have my heat! Thanks to you both for such speedy help.

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boulangere
boulangere June 14, 2011

Love the sunflower seed idea. Thank you!

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sdebrango
sdebrango June 14, 2011

I think it sounds wonderful, so many uses. i think the addition of lime would be delicious.

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Kitchen Butterfly
Kitchen Butterfly June 14, 2011

I love cilantro, and I've made a pesto with it before. My favourite thing to do with it however is to make a 'chutney', as the Indians call it. see the paste in this recipe http://www.food52.com/recipes....

Some people add finely chopped shallots and grated ginger to the mix. It is a great paste, stirred into some yogurt, rubbed into sweet corn....and mangoes. I could go on!

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boulangere
boulangere June 14, 2011

KB, can I freeze it after I've turned it into your lovely chutney?

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Sadassa_Ulna
Sadassa_Ulna June 14, 2011

A local burrito place uses almonds in a cilantro pesto; the sunflower seed idea sounds like a great substitute!

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shoopee
shoopee June 14, 2011

yes! Heidi Swanson has a great recipe for it in her new cookbook. It's part of the ravioli salad.

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a Whole Foods Market Customer

The great think about using cilantro is you can use the stems and roots. It's a lot less work to prep it and there's very little waste.

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SKK
SKK June 14, 2011

What I love about pesto is you can use anything - parsley and sunflower seeds, basil and walnuts, peas and almonds - it is all about using your imagination!

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Panfusine
Panfusine June 14, 2011

If you're referring to a plain chutney, without any nuts or oil added.. you could check the ones I used for my street food recipes.. else, my latest blog post has a traditional Indian recipe for a pesto using cilantro.. it involves wilting the cilantro in oil & gentle heat to evaporate some of the water...its totally different in taste from what you'd expect from fresh cilantro..not nuts.. and you can omit the asafetida if you want to totally omit gluten..
http://www.panfusine.com/2011/06/cilantro-biscuits.html

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boulangere
boulangere June 14, 2011

Brilliant! Thank you all. I'm going to come at it well-armed in the morning.

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cakillgore
cakillgore June 14, 2011

YES I'VE MADE AN AWESOME Recipe and it includes pumpkin seeds too.
To compliment my basil pesto recipe, I also had an abundance of Cilantro so here is a two-fer.

2 Cups Fresh Cilantro (packed, cleaned and dry)
1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds (Toasted)
1 Tsp Garlic, Minced
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese (Grated)
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper, Freshly Ground
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Toast pumpkin seeds in frying pan over medium heat.

2. In a food processor, puree the cilantro, toasted pumpkin seeds and garlic on high speed.

3. Add the cheese, black pepper and salt, processing to combine. Scrape down the sides of the food processor.

4. With the machine running, add the olive oil and blend until well combined.

5. Pour into serving bowl.

Yield: 1 1/4 Cups Pesto

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susan g
susan g June 15, 2011

Here's a chutney from Afghanistan we've made again and again. It keeps well in the fridge, but could easily be frozen. It goes with anything where the taste of cilantro compliments, and often spread on sandwiches. It's from a book, World Vegetarian Classics, by Celia B. Brown.
CHUTNI GASHNEEZ
Put in food processor: 1 bunch cilantro (leaves and stems), 1 1/2 Tb light brown sugar, 1/2 cup wine vinegar, 2 hot green chilis, 2 cloves garlic, handful of walnuts. Blend.
Of course, the seeds would be perfect!

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boulangere
boulangere June 15, 2011

This just keeps getting better and better. Thank you all for your generous and wonderful ideas.

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