Condiment · Sauces

Cilantro-Mint Pesto

cilantro-mint pesto

Too many fresh herbs is a wonderful problem to have. It seems I finally rid my Aerogarden of aphids (knock on wood), and now my cilantro is growing wild. My mint is beginning to emerge from the ground, and it looks like it may have more than doubled in size since last year. I’m really looking forward to making Strawberry Mojito Salad, but it’s another week or so until strawberries hit the farm stands. So, what do you do when you have too many fresh herbs? Make pesto! Now, the Aerogarden is marvelous in many respects. Fresh herbs all year long – how can you beat that? Another advantage is that since you have living plants, you can use just a small bit and not worry about the rest of a bunch going bad in your fridge before you have a chance to use them. But even in the Aerogarden you sometimes need to clear out some serious quantities, especially when one herb begins to crowd out the others. So it was time to harvest, and pesto was going to be for dinner! I love pestos, and there are so many ways to make them. In this one, the sassy cilantro is the perfect counterpoint to the clean, sweet mint. They blend beautifully; neither one dominates. I served this pesto with some gorgeous grilled loin lamb chops and fresh asparagus. There’s a printer-friendly version of the recipe at the bottom of this page. Serves 2 – 4.

Ingredients:

 

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1 Tbsp pine nuts

1 garlic clove, peel still on

1 lime

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

⅛ tsp salt

⅛ tsp freshly-ground black pepper

2 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves

1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves

2 tsp grated fresh Pecorino Romano or Parmesan

Preparation:

1.) Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pine nuts and the garlic clove with the peel still on. Cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, just a few minutes.

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2.) Remove from heat, and let cool enough to handle. Pop the garlic out of its skin with a gentle squeeze, and place it in the bowl of a food processor.

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3.) Finely zest the lime for ½ teaspoon of zest, juice it for one teaspoon of juice, and add it all to the bowl.

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4.) Add the pine nuts, oil, salt, and pepper, and process until finely chopped.

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5.) Add the cilantro and mint; process until finely chopped.

6.) Add the cheese, and process until just blended.

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7.) You can make this a few hours ahead. Keep it green by pressing plastic wrap right down onto the entire surface of the pesto; refrigerate.

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8.) Sprinkle with a little freshly grated Romano to serve.

 

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Cilantro-Mint Pesto

Ingredients


1 Tbsp pine nuts
1 garlic clove, peel still on
1 lime
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
⅛ tsp salt
⅛ tsp freshly-ground black pepper
2 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
2 tsp grated fresh Pecorino Romano or Parmesan

Directions


1.) Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pine nuts and the garlic clove with the peel still on. Cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, just a few minutes.
2.) Remove from heat, and let cool enough to handle. Pop the garlic out of its skin with a gentle squeeze, and place it in the bowl of a food processor.
3.) Finely zest the lime for ½ teaspoon of zest, juice it for one teaspoon of juice, and add it all to the bowl.
4.)Add the pine nuts, oil, salt, and pepper, and process until finely chopped.
5.) Add the cilantro and mint; process until finely chopped.
6.) Add the cheese, and process until just blended.
7.) You can make this a few hours ahead. Keep it green by pressing plastic wrap right down onto the entire surface of the pesto; refrigerate.
8.) Sprinkle with a little freshly grated Romano to serve.

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