Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cilantro pesto...yum! (and a new salad dressing!)

OK, I have been reading a lot lately about people who don't like cilantro.  I am not one of those people!  There are certainly things I don't like to eat, but I LOVE cilantro! 

I look for ways to use it, I love it so much!

Just recently in the comments on Ree Drummond's blog (  I found that pesto does not need to just about basil.  Turns out "pesto" comes from pestare which means 'to crush'.  Oil based pasta sauces with herbs and garlic.  How could you go wrong?!

Anyway, the comment in Ree's blog had a recipe for cilantro pesto or sauce.  I got right up from the computer after reading that entry and headed to the kitchen.  (You see, I almost always have cilantro in the veggie drawer!)  I whipped together a batch and,wowee, was it ever good!  Flavorful, mouth watering, just plain yummy!  I tasted a bit off a spoon, but I think this pesto is better with something.  I plopped some on a burger, no bun thanks, and my mouth was in ecstasy! 

I have been struggling to find a salad dressing I like that does not have preservatives, sugar and a bunch of salt.  I use Celtic Sea Salt and I have yet to find a salad dressing that does.  So I got some plain Greek yogurt out of the fridge, added in some of the cilantro pesto, a squeeze of lemon juice, a bit of salt and pepper and voila!, a new salad dressing.  So, so good.  I served it that night to my family and even my husband who lives on Ranch dressing liked it! 

The pesto only keeps for a few days, but it is so easy to make!  Here is recipe from Cooks Illustrated-

• 2 bunches cilantro , stem ends trimmed (about 2 1/2 lightly packed cups)
• 1/2 cup olive oil (see note)
• 4 teaspoons juice from 1 lime
• 2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
**• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• Salt and ground black pepper

Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until cilantro is chopped but still has some texture, about 10 to 15 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste. May be covered and refrigerated for up to two days.

**I did NOT add the sugar!  I loved the taste without it and I am trying very hard to avoid sugar.  If I had thought it needed some sweetness, I would have used honey. 

Here is to cilantro pesto and all things yummy!

The Hopeful Romantic

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