Wednesday, July 17, 2013

You Call This Pesto....Well, Yes, I Do

Usually when one hears the word pesto, basil comes to mind.  But our garden produced a lot of cilantro this year.  Unfortunately, a lot of it went to seed and I don't know how to do the coriander thing, so I decided to make these two recipes that use cilantro instead of basil.

THAI PESTO (The darker one)

1 bunch cilantro
1/4 c. peanut butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Blend cilantro, peanut butter, garlic, olive oil, ginger, fish sauce, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper in a blender until smooth.

Add to noodles, salad, rice or any dish to give it a Thai flavor.


Cook's note:  This has a good flavor but is quite spicy.  Adjust accordingly.  Also, I used a food processor.

MEXICAN PESTO  (The lighter green)

1/4 c. hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 c. grated cotija cheese
4 cloves garlic
1 serrano chili pepper, seeded
1/2 t. salt
6 tablespoons olive oil

Place the pumpkin seeds in a food processor or blender, pulse until coarsely chopped.  Add cilantro, cheese, garlic, chile pepper, salt, and olive oil; cover and process until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary.


Cook's note:  I made the mistake of buying roasted pumpkin seeds.  I was too lazy to try to hull them, so I ground them up really fine.  People eat the shells anyway, right?  Well, the cojita cheese is quite salty (much like mizithra) and so the pesto came out really, really salty.  Also, I was getting to the end of my cilantro, so it could have used more.  I'm going to make another batch and leave out the pumpkin seeds altogether.  I don't think it needs it.  But the flavor was very, very promising.

1 comment:

  1. There are some really creative and interesting pesto recipes out there. You have really had a bumper crop of herbs! Thanks for posting these, Mom. They sound yummy.