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It seems cilantro is like okra. Either you love it or you hate it. I love it but my sister says it tastes like soap. Well, more for me! We’ve gotten a couple bunches of cilantro from our herb CSA. I have cilantro in my garden too so we had more cilantro than I knew what to do with. I normally use cilantro as a garnish for Mexican dishes, in my salads and in salsa. Even after all this, I still have a lot of cilantro. I love making pesto with herbs other than basil so my mind wandered to a Mexican Pesto. Switch out the traditional Italian pesto ingredients for more traditionally Mexican ingredients and voila, Mexican Pesto.
How can you use weird condiment? All sorts of ways! Try it on pasta like you would normal pesto. Spread it on your tortilla or taco shell as part of a taco or burrito topping. Do you like Burrito Bowls from Chipotle? This would make an awesome topping! Taco pizza, how about using this pesto as the sauce? So many possibilities!
Of course, you don’t have to ferment it but why would you not if you can? I want to ferment everything!
Mexican Cilantro Pesto
- 12 oz cilantro, leaves, stems and all.
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled.
- 1 jalapeno (seeds removed for a mild version)
- 4 oz raw pumpkin seeds
- 3 gms sea salt
- 2% brine, as needed
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1. In a food processor, finely chop cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, pumpkin seeds and salt.
2. Press into a 1/2 or 3/4L Pickl-it and pour little 2% brine over the top (just a couple tablespoons worth).
3. Seal the jar, fill your airlock and let set for 2-3 days. Move to the fridge until you are ready to use it.
4. Just before serving, mix in oil and cheese until well blended.