Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cilantro Pecan Pesto

The Background

Pesto has been a personal favorite of mine lately.  I have made a couple different variations and I have been playing with their usefulness.  Though I can honestly say that I have not created one that I necessarily dislike, this variation may be my favorite to date.  I used cilantro (instead of the more traditional basil) and pecans (rather than pine nuts).  Why?  Well, because this is Texas, not Tuscany; and it’s also what I had on hand! 


  • 1 cup Cilantro
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (Grated)
  • 1/2 cup Natural Pecans (Raw)
  • 1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt - Coarse
  • 1 tbsp. Pepper, Black
  • 2 Garlic Clove


The food processor will do almost all of the heavy lifting for this dish. I coarsely chop the cilantro and the pecans just to give my processor a bit of a head start. In the bowl of the food processor combine the chopped cilantro, chopped pecans, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, garlic and olive oil. Pulse to combine everything. Once everything is well blended, stir in the grated parmesan.
Call this one done. It's a very simple pesto that is great as a topper to toasted garlic bread or tossed with pasta as a sauce. I actually use Adam's Reserve Truffle Salt (can be found at HEB) in place of Sea Salt, and I use Orange Pepper blend (from Texas Spice, in Round Rock, TX) in place of plain black pepper. These really add great depth to the flavor.

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