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More pesto

September 22, 2010

We finished off the last of the cilantro rows the other day.  Several readers requested the pesto recipe and I have to be honest, recipes don’t get followed all that often around here 🙂


Over the years we have discovered that we actually prefer the milder pesto made from cilantro instead of the classic basil.  And we weren’t really happy with the pine nuts coming from China and far away places, so we substituted filberts since the filbert is a Oregon staple, and we love filberts!!   Kinda local – cilantro, garlic, and filberts.  Kinda not – olive oil, Parmesan cheese not even close.


Some people prefer to make a rustic pesto with the ingredients finely chopped and mixed, and others prefer the convenience of a food processor.  If I am making pesto for immediate use, of course a sharp knife is the best method, but when I am stocking the freezer I like the food processor.   Just follow any pesto recipe and mix and match ingredients.  Herbs, garlic, nuts, cheese and oil, use what you like and what you have on hand, otherwise it can get a little expensive.

Basically the amounts we used are:
4 cups cilantro ( ours started to bolt but was very tender so it all got used – come February when I am longing for sun, a teeny tiny bit of fiber will do more good than harm.)
2 – 4 cloves of garlic
1 cup roasted nuts (you can rub the skins off the filberts after roasting if you want)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil

Blend first four ingredients until desired consistency, add olive oil until pesto is the texture you like.  I prefer to store my pesto in small 4 or 8 ounce jelly jars, they are easy to clean and you can use a spatula to get out every last bit of pesto.  It only takes the freezer getting unplugged once to scare you off the ice-cube tray or plastic freezer bag method.  Yuck.  I really dislike bags of garlicky goo.  With my canning jars I can reuse old lids and rings too rusty for canning and I have the ultimate perpetual storage.  Plus food frozen in jars has a great shelf life – plastic bags, not so much.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 22, 2010 11:01 pm

    This looks delicious. I’m glad to see you used the filberts instead of the pine nuts from china. I just had to dump out 4 half pints of basil pesto using such nuts … after suffering from ‘pine mouth’. I wrote a warning about it here
    http://this-newhouse.blogspot.com/2010/09/pine-mouth.html

    … just in case some of your readers have not heard about this ‘symptom’ from eating pine nuts from Asian countries.

    • September 23, 2010 5:04 am

      Mrs. Mac, thanks for the link – walnuts work good too, as does any nut. Personally I avoid Trader Joe’s, too many imported items of dubious origin and too many recalls. Although I have a friend who always buys me gifts from there. She is from the time when imported foods were thought as a high brow item. I hope you’re feeling better now.

  2. September 23, 2010 7:34 am

    Good Morning!
    I have never made Pesto but I think I’ll try this. I don’t have cilantro but I do have basil. I don’t have pine nuts or filberts but I do have pecans…I wonder what that would taste like. I guess it’s worth a try! Thanks for sharing your recipe…and I always love your pictures. Take care.
    Maura 🙂

  3. September 23, 2010 1:57 pm

    Looks really yummy! I don’t know why I never thought to make pesto from Cilantro – I bet it has a real fresh taste. I have switched out my nuts before for walnuts but never filberts – very interesting.

  4. September 23, 2010 6:19 pm

    Another good pesto is Parsley pesto with walnuts, instead of those expensive imported pine nuts

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