I think that cilantro is one of those things that you either love or hate. Perhaps a few of you lie in the gray area in between but most I know feel quite strongly about this fresh herb. If you read Whipped often, you have probably noticed that I am in the LOVE category. To me, cilantro is like a breath of fresh air in your dish.

I am nervous to admit this because I suppose it is really pretty weird. I love cilantro so much that sometimes, when I am in the grocery store, I pluck a leaf from the bunch (even when I am not buying it) and put it on my tongue. I don’t even chew it, I just walk the aisles filling my cart with a leaf of cilantro on my tongue, its aroma wafting up in through the back door of my nose.

Considering my over-the-top love for this fragrant herb, it is a surprise I hadn’t made Cilantro Pesto before. Like traditional basil pesto, you can make a huge batch and then freeze it in ice cube trays for later use. If you like experimenting, try walnuts instead of pine nuts, add a little fresh mint or squeeze in some lime juice. Next time, I might even leave the nuts out all together to further highlight the cilantro

What to do with this pesto? You can do almost anything you do with regular pesto.
– marinate chicken and grill it.
– toss it with noodles, especially good on Asian noodles
– drizzle it over fresh tomatoes
– add some lime juice and a little extra olive oil and use as salad dressing.

Cilantro Pesto
1 large clove garlic
1 small peeled shallot
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 large bunch cilantro (2 cups loosely cup)
2 T sherry vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 t salt


Put garlic and shallot in a blender or food processor and chop. Add pine nuts, clean cilantro leaves and vinegar and process until very fine. While food processor is on, slowly add olive oil and process until smooth. Add salt to taste. Keep in an air tight container in the fridge for a week or freeze in ice cube trays for later use.

Other Recipes with Cilantro:
Asian Rotisserie Chicken Salad with Cilantro Dressing
Grilled Chicken, Mango & Jicama Salad with Tequila-Lime Vinaigrette
Thai Beef Salad
Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Authentic Mexican Guacamole