This has resulted in LOTS of salsa and guacamole and other dishes/sauces that use cilantro. Unfortunately, it starts going bad by the bunch in my fridge, and I am so sad when I have to toss it. As another bunch started to fade away into the abyss, and with two more waiting in the wings in the fridge to take it's place as "next cilantro to use," tonight I opted to get creative and try something new and good. What are two of my main loves...food loves that is? Pasta, and ... drumroll please... cilantro.
I did a little searching online for cilantro pesto recipes and found a ton -- which came as a total surprise to me. After a little combining and recombining -- a little of this and a little of that -- and ended up making something that most closely resembled regular pesto. Instead of pine nuts, which I had none of, I opted for walnuts for, well, a nutty flavor and texture. Also considered almonds, but walnuts seemed to go better with pesto. Don't ask why. Call it intuition?
1 bunch of cilantro
5 heaping teaspoons of pre-diced cloves garlic to taste (I bought garlic-in-a-jar, but this would likely equate to about 8 tsp garlic fresh)
1/2 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
3/4 cup walnuts
1 TBSP vinegar (I used white, but would use apple cider or white wine next time)
3/4 cup olive oil
1 box of pasta, cooked until slightly al dente
1/2 cup grated fresh parmesan
salt to taste
Load all non-pasta, non-garnish ingredients in a blender and blend.
And blend some more. My poor blender was really working hard to earn its keep. Taking pity on the little blender that could, I turned the blender off.