Cilantro lovers this one is for you! Not only will this wow your taste buds, but this pesto is also a pretty nutritious snack. Pair it with crunchy, multigrain crackers or cut up raw veggies. Or better yet, enjoy it with scrambled eggs, on sandwiches or with pasta.
The use of peas in this cilantro pesto recipe works to stretch out the dish, volume wise, and soften the cilantro taste a bit. From a nutritional standpoint, peas are a good source of vitamins C and K, folate and fiber. The addition of peas to this pesto gives it a nutritional advantage over classic pesto recipes.
While a number of different nuts can be used to make a pesto, I quite like using walnuts because of their heart healthy omega-3 fat content. If you are not a big fan of walnuts, try substituting in slivered almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds or pine nuts (all unsalted, of course).
This recipe is inspired by two very different dishes I've come across over the past few years. One being a recipe for cilantro pesto from my very favourite cookbook, Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook and other from a recipe for Smashed Pea Guacamole with Cilantro, Ginger, and Lime.
- 3 cups cilantro, washed and stems removed
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 2-3 cloves garlic, roasted
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup Reggiano cheese, finely grated
- 1 hot pepper (optional)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Roast garlic cloves. To roast garlic quickly, place individual cloves on a baking sheet, in oven at 350 F (175 C) for 15-20 minutes, or until soft.
- Place cilantro, walnuts, cheese, garlic, hot pepper, peas and 1/2 of the allotted oil in a food processor. Blend together. Slowly add remaining oil while blending until pesto is smooth.
Keep this Pea and Cilantro Pesto refrigerated for up to 3 days.