OK, so I'm thinking of trying my hand at a foodie blog. Our family belongs to a fantastic CSA (Worden Farm in Punta Gorda, FL) and each week we get a huge box of locally grown, organic produce. Each week, I get to figure out how to use up all the beautiful veggies.
Box day is Wednesday, so today I went and picked up the third box of the season (it's FLORIDA, we grow stuff over the winter!) but I still had a huge bunch of cilantro in the fridge from last week.
(side note: I found that a great way to store herbs is to stand them upright in a glass jar and put enough water in the jar to cover the stems, not the leaves. Then, invert a plastic bag over the leaves....recycled produce bags from the grocery store work great!)
Our family loves pesto, and I'd heard that you can make a nice pesto sauce with cilantro. I wasn't sure about it....I've never really been a big fan of cilantro, it reminds me of something soapy, but I decided to give it a go, since I had to make room in the fridge for the contents of this week's box.
WOW! It was a snap to make, looked gorgeous, and tasted fantastic. Somehow the bite of the garlic counter balanced the fragrance and flavor of the cilantro, and the result was a zippy, tasty pasta sauce. A nice, light alternative to basil pesto.
1 very large bunch of cilantro, about 4 cups
4 cloves of garlic
3/4 cup pine nuts (pignoli)
2 TBS kalamata olives (about 8-10 olives) pits removed
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (first cold pressed)
1/4 cup water
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Simply put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy.
Spoon pesto on top of hot pasta and mix well.
My son sprinkled parmesan cheese on top of his, but without the cheese it was very light and refreshing!
This recipe made enough for 2 lbs of pasta.