One night last week, I was all set to make mixed herb pesto with the bunch of parsley from our CSA box and the basil I had purchased at Trader Joe's the day before. Suddenly, as I was washing the parsley, something didn't smell right. I brought the bunch a bit closer to my nose. Sure enough, it wasn't parsley after all--it was cilantro! I didn't think basil and cilantro would go together too well, so I went ahead and made the pesto using basil alone. Unfortunately, when I finished I was still stuck with a dripping wet bunch of cilantro without a home. It occurred to me that maybe I could make some sort of pesto with the cilantro as well. A quick search on Epicurious paid dividends, as I came across this Asian pesto recipe, which turn out to be excellent.
The day after I made the pesto, The Gastronomer stir-fried some tofu, prepared a box of soba noodles, and topped the whole thing off with the radishes from our CSA box, which she had brilliantly decided to pickle Vietnamese-style. It was a stellar meal all around.
Recipe adapted from Gourmet, November 2004, courtesy of Epicurious.
- 2 cups packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Yield: Pesto covers about 4 servings of pasta
Estimated Start-to-Finish Time: Not given
Actual Start-to-Finish Time: 20 minutes (for the pesto alone)
Substitutions: I added garlic and extra pine nuts and reduced the amount of olive oil from that specified in the original recipe. If you like your pesto oily, add a bit more.