Cilantro and Pumpkin Seed Pesto

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Cilantro Pesto

Cilantro.  You either love it or hate it.  If you love it, I am about to become your new best friend.  What?  You already have a best friend!  Well, did your current best friend share with you a cilantro pesto recipe that quite possibly is the best cilantro pesto recipe on the planet?  See.  I thought so.

So, new best bud, guess what I did this week?  Yep.  I cleaned out my vegetable crisper drawer.  All I can say is thank goodness those plastic bags can safely hold liquid, which is what some of the veggies had become.  One of things I discovered besides liquefied dill, parsley, and lettuce were  3 bags of cilantro.  Because apparently I have a terrible fear of being without cilantro (which is entirely understandable).  So, I spent the next twenty minutes or so perusing through my cookbooks figuring out what to do with my cilantro mother load.   It was only twenty minutes because I stopped as soon as I found Cilantro and Pumpkin Seed Pesto in The Herbfarm Cookbookby Jerry Traunfeld.  I had everything I needed, pumpkin seeds in the freezer and a fresh jalapeño just waiting to be picked. 

Ready to buzz

OMG.  This was amazing.  Seriously, seriously amazing.  You could use this on anything, it could go on grilled fish, or chicken, or meat.  It could be used as a salsa over nachos or tacos.   Stirred into pasta or to dress veggies.  Or you could simply stand at your counter and just spoon it into your mouth, while you pretend that you are just tasting it to make sure it’s seasoned right.  

Cilantro and Pumpkin Seed Pesto

  • 1/4 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 2 cups (gently packed) fresh cilantro leaves and tender sprigs
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoons seeded and coarsely chopped jalapeno pepper (I left the seeds in because I am bold)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Toast the pumpkin seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat.  When you hear the first seed pop, start stirring or shaking the pan continuously.  The pumpkin seeds will puff up.  When most of the seeds are puffed up, pour the seeds on a paper towel to cool.

In a food processor process the seeds and all of the ingredients except the olive oil until it’s finely ground.  Then pour the olive oil in a smooth steady stream, until the mixture is creamy and fairly smooth. 

(I then stored mine in cute little glass jars in the freezer, so that I can have this whenever I want, which will be all the time!)



This will be my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Anh from Food Lover’s Journey.

Cookbook used:

P.S. Did you notice!?! It’s only taken me years and years and years, but I finally figured out how to put a picture in my header. Yay me! Expect small cosmetic changes as I figure out how to do other things!

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  1. says

    Oh yum! I love coriander 😉 and will definitely be having a go at this.

    You just left me a comment about the yoyos I’m making – if you look at the previous post I wrote, there’s a link to the Moda Bake Shop project just above the yoyo photo in that post (about half way down). Thanks for visiting!

  2. says

    You are my new best friend Pam! i am so making this because I have cilantro all the time (even teh liquid in plastic bag version)and pumpkin seeds aren’t as uppity as pine nuts. Pine nuts would make me poor. They are quite expensive here. N if you say this is amazing Im believing you.

  3. says

    You new header looks great. Yea you! It is especially nice that these are your photos.

    Once I’m settled in my new place and I’ve unpacked my new food processor, I’m definitely trying this pesto.

  4. says

    Awesome! Okay, so I made this but I put my mixture into heart shaped silicon ice trays. (That’s what I do with all of my pesto recipe’s and extra tomato pastes just because it is so much easier to just pick out a heart or two instead of waiting for the content of a jar to thaw out!) This stuff is YUM! Thanks Pam!

  5. says

    *raises hand* I’m a cilantro hater, but I love love pesto and pumpkin seeds. So, how can I get around this? Parsley substitution, perhaps? Hm.

  6. says

    LOVE the pictures in your header! Great used for your excellent photos. Cilantro Pesto??? not so much. Although, I’m sure it’s delicious if you like cilantro! The jars look beautiful!

  7. says

    I love cilantro. At dinner with a group of four, two loved it, two hated it. You’re right–there’s no in-between. (Julia Child hated it. :( )

    As someone who is pretty sure she can go through her vegetable drawer and her freezer without coming up with 3 bags of cilantro (one, probably) and pumpkin seeds, I’ll have to wait until fall to try this one.

  8. says

    HI Pam, How is your summer so far???? Enjoying some time OFF???? (Dumb question!!! ha)

    Love your header… You are getting more and more creative.

    I like Cilantro—but the pesto with pumpkin seed also sounds terrific. Thanks!!!

    Have a great 4th of July. God Bless America.

  9. says

    I’m sitting here crying because I’m not your new best friend. Do you suppose I could substitute parsley for the dreaded cilantro?

    LOVE the jars!

  10. says

    Cilantro lover here! Somehow it brings me some inner comfort to know that you also find veggies in the bags in the crisper, more aqueous than they should be.

  11. says

    I have the book–how did I miss this recipe. Going to bookmark it now–yum!

    Loving the header–I need to figure out how to do that one of these days. 😉

  12. says

    Cilantro is far and above my favorite herb…although I have to say it is usually the one that liquefies before parsley. Always.

    I love finding new pesto combinations! Super yum. Also, that header. You like NICE girl!

  13. Anonymous says

    Pam, this pesto recipe is heavenly! It has every ingredient that I enjoy – cilantro, pumpkin seeds, garlic, jalapenos.

    I made it last Saturday afternoon and served it mixed with farfalle (that cute little bow tie pasta) and with a sprinkling of crumbled Gorgonzola on top. With a chilled glass of Moscato alongside, I experienced a different level of dining!

    Incidentally, the jalapeno added an undertaste of mild heat that was out of this world!

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