exploration and innovation

May 20, 2010

last week in my gardening update i mentioned our insane overflow of cilantro and i threw a question out there- what exactly am i going to do with all this??  (besides make salsa, of course)  and Brooke threw back an idea in the comments- cilantro pesto.

you type it, i do it!  so, here we go:

harvested cilantro

first i had to go forth and harvest my beloved crop. hopefully i didn't kill them, with advice on twitter from StarryMom i hacked into the beauties with the kitchen shears. i got a little over excited at the end, cross your fingers.

my preshuuuuuussss

my owwwwn, my preshuuuuuusssssss...

made with:

i assembled the various ingredients. the recipe called for: one bunch cilantro, TBSPN lemon/lime/or vinegar, quarter cup olive oil, salt and pepper...  (not bananas.  they're just there for lunch time.)


half cup almonds or pine nuts, quarter cup parmesan cheese, a splash of cayenne pepper...


there seemed to be a discrepancy that some people preferred walnuts instead of almonds, or more traditional pine nuts instead of either. i went with almonds, mostly because they're cheaper.


and 3 cloves of garlic. pay attention to this photo. it is going to be very important in just a few minutes.


and blend, blend, blend, my darlings!

cilantro pesto

there it is. cilantro pesto.

cilantro pesto

i have to admit, it was thrilling.  now, what to do with it. i saw several ideas for putting it on crackers, making appetizers, using it on chicken breasts...


but clearly the natural choice was ravioli, come on.
(this photo makes me want to run into my kitchen and lick the countertops.
i love you, new kitchen)

cilantro pesto ravioli

cilantro pesto ravioli


here's the nitty gritty- it tasted good. quite unique but also yummy and awesome... except i may have been a little over zealous with the garlic. HOLY CRAP TOO MUCH GARLIC.   and i'm a person who loves the firey burn of garlic- i'm a four or five clove type of lady.  i'm not sure what happened, if we just had an extra strong clove in there? i even picked some out.  but the BUUUUUURN from this stuff was, uh, intense. and in the future i'd skip the cayenne pepper. totally unnecessary.

it's an easy 4 star recipe as is, but with a few tweaks it could be a 5.  mostly by not adding too much garlic because you're an idiot who loves garlic, ie, me.

(as you'll see in the comments, these handy photos helped us sleuth out the problem with the super spicy.  me fail.)


Mr. the Grumbles

Is that a teaspoon of Cayenne? If so I think we just solved the spicy-ness issue. It was "supposed" to have only a half teaspoon.

the grumbles

you're kidding, right?

the grumbles


Adam Claxon

Holy crap, that looks delicious. I'm going to have to try that soon.


We love home made basil pesto - this looks just as fab! Will have to try it soon.


Mr. Harry planted cilantro this years, so we're SO making this. I've made the basil version a few times, now I'm psyched to try something new. I'm gonna nix the cayenne though. And it's gonna be hard not to put all that garlic in. I love me some garlic.


Ooh, don't even worry about the tsp snafu. Extra cayenne!! Love spicy. And garlic.


That looks amazing!

I bought some herbs on Mother's Day weekend and haven't been able to plant them yet. They are doing really well in their little pots and I just noticed that my cilantro is growing like MAD! This would be a good way to use it, aside from the salsa that I enjoy making! I'm actually thing about jaring it this year! :)

Amber, The Unlikely Mama

I really wish I liked cilantro, because that looks delicious!

Ashley, the Accidental Olympian

First of all, that looks tasty. Once my little herbs get bigger I am going to try the cilantro version and the basil version. YUM.

Secondly, I did the same sort of WHOOPS wrong amount with baking yesterday. Instead of a teaspoon of salt in my cookies I put in a TABLESPOON. It tasted a little salty, but it's not horrible so I'm going with it.

Damn measuring cups!

Sarah W

1. YUM
2. Yeah, are you sure the spicy wasn't from the cayenne?
3. Your photos are lovely. :)

the grumbles

yeah the problem was definitely the cayenne. jon was shouting the instructions to me from the living room and i wasn't paying enough attention (apparently). so, we'll be doing this again but minus the pepper sometime.

Ky • twopretzels.com

It looks amazing. Perhaps you should be a food stylist? :)

Tell me, what would you prefer: cilantro pesto or basil pesto? I'd like to hear a rundown.


Yum! This looks so good, I never would have thought of a recipe such as this!

hand pecked debb

I like pepper.
I like garlic.

my butt may not like it, but your pesto sure looks delicious.

Written Permission

OMG -- as a person who is (tragically) allergic to basil, I am SO EXCITED about this! (I also have issues with adding too much garlic; story for another time.)

And, though I am a certified plant killa like yourself, I just planted my first herb garden-thingie this year. So, Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I, too, will have wanton, lush bushels of cilantro with which to make non-barfy (sorry, basil) pesto! Hooray! Thank you for sharing. Can't wait to see the photos later on my non-firewalled computer. :)

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