Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Dairy Free, Recipes

Cilantro Pesto

July 25, 2014
I leave you this week with a simple recipe for an incredibly versatile condiment. I do this for you, my dear friends, because I know that we (you and I) have entered into that state of being I like to call Garden Guilt.

Garden Guilt is what happens when you’ve been waiting eight or nine months for food to start growing footsteps away from your backdoor and then finally it does, in such massive amounts that you rush the Jehovah’s Witnesses who have come to deliver the Word of God and beg them to please, please take some lettuce.

You gaze out there at said yard with a guilty conscious, you can’t bare to let anything wilt or wither or go to waste because you know in a fleeting moment it will all be gone and the ground that is, at present, so bountiful will soon be covered in deep, deep, deep, deep snow. So you gather all that is about to burst into seed form and wash and chop and can and freeze until the wee hours of the night.

You know I’m doing it. I know you’re doing it too. If you are like me you have so much cilantro you could supply all the Chipotle’s in the contiguous United States (did you know they serve margaritas?!!!). So expect to see some serious cilantro business coming from this here website in the next few weeks—who am I kidding? Months! 

Don’t worry if you are knee deep in basil, that will work here just fine. Same goes for parsley, chives, arugula, chard, kale, or beet greens too. Once you’ve got your pesto made you can slather it on toast, toss it with pasta, stir it into risotto, or use it as a marinade for anything about to hit the grill. You can even put it in a freezer-safe container, cover it with a layer of oil, then seal and freeze for up to 6 months. No doubt you will enjoy the fruits of your labor come mid-winter.


Cilantro Pesto

Yield: 1 1/4 cups


  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 4 cups packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 3/4 cup olive oil


  1. Combine pumpkin seeds, cilantro, garlic, salt, and chile flakes in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse to blend.
  2. With the machine running slowly add the olive oil until all has been added and a smooth puree has formed. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  3. Use immediately or keep covered in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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  • Tori Avey July 29, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    I love pesto AND cilantro. Win win! And toasted pepitas? Sign me up. 🙂

    • Kate Ramos July 30, 2014 at 5:00 pm

      Thanks Tori! I’ve been putting it on everything!

  • Sue Phillips August 10, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Just made this….saw it, jumped up and made it. It’s going on my own Butternut Squash Gnocchi. Just the smell of it tells me it will be awesome!

    • Sue Phillips August 10, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      further……it’s FABULOUS!!! OMGOSH!! Added a bit of raw kale to the pesto and topped it with a sprinkle of parmesan. Amazing.

    • Kate Ramos August 11, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Oh my gosh, Sue! That’s wonderful, I’m so glad you liked it and that butternut squash gnocchi sounds awesome-when can I come over? 🙂