If you love cilantro as much as I do and you’ve never had cilantro pesto, you’re in for a real treat! I could eat this Spicy Cilantro Pesto by the spoonfuls! It’s extremely versatile and very easy to make! You can make it from not spicy at all to HOT! Be sure to make a big batch and freeze it in small batches so that you always have some in the house! I’ve got lots of great ideas on how to use this Cilantro Pesto AND I also have another great giveaway for you today courtesy of Full Circle so read on!
This Spicy Cilantro Pesto is so EASY to make!! I actually quadrupled the recipe and froze all the pesto. Start with a big bunch of cilantro and cut off the bottom part of the stems. Don’t worry about the stems with the leaves. It will all get chopped up in a food processor.
I love a little bit of chipotle in my pesto. If you do NOT like spicy food, you can omit it completely, or add a little at a time until you get the right heat for you and your family.
I used Cotija cheese and have used different variations of it depending on what I can find. This particular variety has the consistency and texture of grated Parmesan cheese. I have also used other varieties that are more the consistency of feta cheese. Both work well! You should be able to find this Cotija cheese in most large grocery stores or your local Hispanic markets. If you’ve never tried it, definitely give it a try!
Most traditional pestos use pine nuts, but I love to use almonds in this version. These are unsalted almonds that I toasted slightly in the oven and cooled completely.
Put the cilantro, chipotle, cotija cheese, and almonds in a food processor along with some garlic cloves, lime juice, and black pepper.
Put the top on the food processor and process until everything is finely chopped.
While the processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil and watch everything come together!
Give everything a taste and adjust as needed with the chipotle and other ingredients.
To freeze, I like to divide up the pesto among small resealable bags and place the bags flat in the freezer so they don’t take up much room and can be stacked. You can also freeze the pesto in ice cube trays then just pop out what you want when you want it!
Now are you wondering what to do with all this great Spicy Cilantro Pesto??? Here are some of my favorite ideas:
- Spread a little pesto on your sandwiches or burgers, or mix a little in with some mayo for a sandwich spread.
- Mix a little pesto into your favorite pasta salads, potato salads, and coleslaws.
- Mix a little pesto into your favorite chicken salads, tuna fish, or shrimp salads.
- Spread a little pesto on crostini or crackers and top with shrimp, sliced beef, or veggies.
- Mix a little pesto into some sour cream and mayonnaise/yogurt for a delicious veggie or chip dip.
- Use pesto as a sauce for pasta or mix a little into your favorite tomato sauces.
- Spoon pesto over a block of softened cream cheese for a spread that is great with crackers and veggies.
- Spoon a little pesto over tacos or your favorite Mexican dishes.
- Mix pesto with a little more olive oil and vinegar for a simple vinaigrette dressing for salads.
- Mix pesto with a little more olive oil and lime juice and use as a marinade or sauce for chicken, beef, shrimp/fish, or pork.
- Use pesto as a sauce for homemade pizza.
- Or my personal fave…just eat it straight-up with a spoon!
As easy as this pesto is to make, it does make a bit of a mess and your counters and food processor may be a little dirty. Sorry about that. The cilantro pesto is totally worth the mess but it may take you a few minutes to clean it all up. To make the job a little easier, I have a great package of cleaning products courtesy of Full Circle! Full Circle has a lot of great earth-friendly cleaning tools and a great mission to make a variety of products made from sustainable and renewable resources. I was very impressed with the products, they are reasonably priced, stylish and sturdy, and they worked well too! The giveaway winner will receive a Magnet Kitchen Towel, package of Walnut Scrubber Sponges, Vegetable Brush, Glass Cleaner, and Potato Brush with Eye Remover. These products use recycled plastic, renewable bamboo, organic cotton, and more! I can’t wait to try out some other Full Circle products!
My personal fave it the Magnet Kitchen Towel! It sticks right to your fridge (or oven, dishwasher, etc.) and it is SOOOO soft!
SNAPPY GOURMET – FULL CIRCLE GIVEAWAY:
(Check out my GIVEAWAY page regularly for more giveaways!)
Full Circle has graciously offered to give one reader a variety of products which includes a Glass Cleaner, a package of 2 Walnut Scrubber Sponges, a Vegetable Brush, a Potato Brush with Eye Remover, and a Magnet Kitchen Towel. (Value of total prize is approximately $30)
You have up to 10 chances to win so you can leave up to 10 comments (1 VALID comment = 1 entry). To enter, leave a SEPARATE comment for each entry using the comment form below on THIS blog post…
1) Leave a comment telling me what kitchen cleaning or cooking chore do you hate the most? (1 entry)
4) Leave a comment if you have posted about this giveaway with the link (http://snappygourmet.com/giveaways-enter-now/) on YOUR FACEBOOK page, YOUR TWITTER account, or if you pinned this giveaway to YOUR PINTEREST boards.
Include something like “I just entered to win a prize package from @snappygourmet & @fullcirclehome #giveaway http://snappygourmet.com/giveaways-enter-now/” . (1 entry each, no more than 3 total)
NOTE: COMMENTS MUST BE LEFT HERE ON THIS BLOG POST TO BE VALID! Comments left on Snappy Gourmet’s Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest page, sent by email, or anywhere else will NOT count and will not be entered in this giveaway. I will be using random.org to choose winning entry(ies). The number next to your comment here on this post is your entry number. If the comment(s) with those chosen number(s) are valid and follow all rules, they win, if not, new number(s) will be chosen.
Up to 10 entries per person (no automated entries or cheating allowed). Entries that are not valid and multiple entries will not be considered and will be thrown out when choosing winners. Each entry must be a separate comment and not a reply to a comment and not multiple entries within one comment. You must be 18 years or older and a United States Resident to enter. Prizes will be mailed to U.S. addresses only and can not be mailed to P.O. Boxes. Contest is void where prohibited by law. Giveaway is free to enter and no purchase is necessary. All entries must be received by Tuesday, June 19th, 2012, 11:59pm EST.
Snappy Gourmet will choose a winner using Random.org based on the number of valid entries on or around June 20th, 2012. One prize per person. Winner will be notified by email and have 3 days to respond with their address before an alternate winner will be chosen and notified. Prize(s) may be sent by me or the sponsor of this giveaway.
Prize was supplied by Full Circle. Snappy Gourmet received the above mentioned products to try but did not receive any other personal compensation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
|Spicy Cilantro Pesto||
- 4 cups cilantro, loosely packed (about 1 large bunch with end of stems cut off)
- ½ cup grated Cotija cheese
- ½ cup unsalted almonds, lightly toasted
- 1-2 chipotles in adobo sauce
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Place all ingredients except olive oil in food processor Process until everything is finely chopped.
- While food processor is running, drizzle in olive oil until pesto comes together.
- Store in fridge or freezer.
I’m just a poor blogger and all I ask for is a little love to keep me going. So please don’t forget to ENTER my current giveaways for some great prizes! If you like this recipe, please follow me on FACEBOOK or TWITTER. You can also sign-up to receive my recipes and posts by EMAIL or RSS. My recipes are original creations and owned by me unless otherwise noted. Please do not steal or copy my recipes or pictures without my permission. Thanks for visiting Snappy Gourmet!
Some other cilantro recipes I thought you would enjoy:
- Mexican Green Cilantro Rice – Girl Cooks World
- Cilantro Lime Jalapeno Hummus – Knead to Cook
- Jalapeno Cilantro Margarita – Today’s Next