Cilantro Lime Pesto

Cilantro Lime PestoI’m back at it with another new pesto recipe.  And I am so excited to share this one with you because I was so surprised that I really, really liked it!

Why was I so surprised?  Well, I’ll tell you….  I really don’t like Cilantro… at all.

I have never, ever had cilantro in my herb garden before, but thought that since I am planning on making a lot of salsa this year (planted a whole bed of Roma tomatoes to help with the job!) that I might as well plant some cilantro plants too. Better to have as many of the ingredients on hand as I can, right?

So I plunked them in the ground and didn’t give them much thought (except to water of course).  Our weather stayed cool very late into the spring, but when we started getting some really warm days, all of a sudden those plants just shot right up!

Not too long after, I noticed tiny flower buds just starting to form. For those of you who don’t garden, that means that the plant is starting to “bolt” (flower and set seed) and usually the edible parts might get bitter or stop growing as the plant puts all of it’s energy into flowering.

Being new to cilantro I wasn’t sure if this would happen so I knew that I had to cut it down a ways, to buy more time. I had to find some use for it since my tomatoes are no way near setting fruit yet.

I thought I might have seen a recipe for a cilantro pesto before but wasn’t sure.  After some searching, I came across a few for it. I loved how this one paired the cilantro with lime, definitely reminiscent of Mexican flavors!

Even though I was very highly doubtful that I would like it, I figured I would give it a shot. What else was I going to do with that much cilantro?

I whipped it up and then tentatively went for the taste test expecting to be hit by the strong cilantro flavor, and I wasn’t! it was there but subtle, with a hint of lime balanced with a bit of saltiness from the parmesan.  I kept trying a little bit bigger samples, still waiting for the strong flavor to hit me… but it didn’t. And the more I tried, the more I liked it. I was so surprised!

If you’re a lover of pesto and want to try one that’s a little different, I highly recommend this!   I really am now kind of excited I have those plants in my garden!


Cilantro Lime Pesto
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  1. 4 cups Cilantro (loosely packed)
  2. 1/2 cup Slivered Almonds, toasted
  3. 3 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese, shredded
  4. 1 Garlic clove, smashed and peeled
  5. 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  6. 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons Lime Juice
  7. 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  1. Add garlic and almonds into your food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  2. Add in cilantro, cheese, salt and lime juice, pulse until coarsely ground.
  3. While the food processor is running, slowly add in olive oil in a thin stream.
  4. Use right away or store in refrigerator until ready to use.
Adapted from Simply Scratch
Adapted from Simply Scratch
From the Garden Table


11 Responses

  1. ok. I got to admit just the title made me drool a little bit. I LOVE pesto and never thought of making it with cilantro. I am definitely pinning this to try soon!

  2. YUM! I regularly make something called “hari chutney,” which is a sauce made from cilantro to go with samosas and other appetizers. This reminds me of hari chutney meets pesto. And I love pesto! So this combines two of my favorite things :). The fact that cilantro is much, much cheaper than basil is a huge bonus. Bookmarking this to make the next time my husband requests I make pesto for dinner. Thank you!!!

  3. Pingback: Pesto Chicken Salad | From the Garden Table

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