One of our favorite pesto recipes doesn't have a scrap of basil in it.
Nope. It's a cilantro pesto- fresh, citrusy and different. Slather on salmon, corn on the cob, or toasted gluten-free bread. Spoon a dollop into spicy Mexican soups and chili.
It's been quiet on the GFG blog but not-quite-so-quiet here in our little casita by the windswept mesa. You see, a certain gluten-free goddess has been wrestling bare handed with some nagging health issues that living gluten-free hasn't squashed so far (what's up with that?). I'm contemplating a post about it because I suspect what I'm going through isn't exactly unheard of. In fact, I'm willing to bet many gluten-free readers will be able to relate.
And Babycakes, you know I'm always one to share. But I'm not quite ready to write about it. I'm still in the thick of it- but finding some help, at last. And the past two days have been better. And so, I thought I'd grab my camera and share a new pesto Esteban just whipped up after a quick trip to Wild Oats in Santa Fe today.
Cilantro Pesto de Esteban
Cilantro, it turns out, is not only a cool accompaniment to hot and spicy dishes and coconut milk sauces, it may be good for you. Cilantro is full of antioxidants and (perhaps?) helps the body to detoxify. Folklore has it aiding the liver in detoxification efforts. What's not to love about that?
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves- we bought 1 large bunch of cilantro
1 large garlic clove
1/4 cup toasted almonds
1 roasted red pepper
2 ounces Asiago cheese, grated - for vegan and GF/CF, try nutritional yeast
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, as needed
Place the cilantro, garlic, almonds, red pepper and Asiago in a food processor bowl; cover and pulse until finely chopped. Begin adding a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and pulse to combine. Add enough olive oil to make a paste.
Taste test for seasoning or texture adjustments.
Serve a spoonful of cilantro pesto as a flavorful spike to soups and chili, stir-fries and hummus.
Slather it on your favorite rice pasta.
Use it as an appetizer spread with cream cheese and rice crackers.
Schmear it on a brown rice pizza shell and top it with spicy vegetables and shredded jalapeno pepper cheese.
Spoon it on a split baked potato and crumble goat cheese on top.
Use a spoonful to make a salad dressing: just add olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper; whisk till combined.
And don't forget quesadillas - this pesto would be fab on a grilled corn tortilla with sliced fresh tomatoes and shredded cheddar or goat cheese.