MULTI-PURPOSE PINE NUT CILANTRO PESTO
Fresh cilantro, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil and white Balsamic vinegar blended with fresh lemon and garlic!
Makes 1-3/4 cups
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro – leaves only
1/2 c. pine nuts
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. white Balsamic vinegar
zest and juice of 1 lg. lemon (zest before cutting to squeeze)
3-6 fresh cloves garlic (depending on how strong you want it)
1/2 c. water
1/2 t. salt plus to taste
Place cilantro, pine nuts, olive oil and vinegar in blender; blend till smooth.
Add lemon and garlic; continue to blend till smooth again.
Add water and salt; blend till very smooth.
Salt to taste, blend, then transfer to covered container and refrigerate till ready to use.
Notes: It’s best to let the pesto set to mature the flavors before using. The pesto will be thin after blending it, but will thicken considerably in the refrigerator.
Now come the uses.
PASTA. Bring the pesto to room temperature. Cook your pasta, drain well, place in bowl, add as much pesto as you like, stir and serve immediately. Be sure to salt the pasta water sufficiently.
HORS D’OEUVRE SPREAD. Spoon spread onto crackers, top with a garnish and serve immediately. Or place in bowl with a side basket of crackers and allow guests to spoon their own. I used pickled roasted yellow peppers and cut apple. Use whatever you like.
SANDWICH SPREAD. This pesto makes a great sandwich spread to use in place of mayonnaise. Spread liberally on 2 slices of bread. Top with lettuce, tomato and onion. Close, cut and serve. Or, use it on veggie or chickin’ burgers, sub sandwiches etc.