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Cilantro-Walnut Pesto

A fantastic alternative to the traditional basil version from Genoa. It can also be used for pasta or as a side to meats and other grains


  • fresh cilantro/coriander: about 1 cup/20 grams
  • olive oil (or other neutral oil): 85 ml/6 Tb/.33-.5 cup
  • walnuts: about 30g / .33 cup
  • garlic: 1 clove minced
  • cheese: Parmesan, grana padano, and/or Manchego: finely grated, about 25g/ .5 cup, (can also mix multiple cheeses)
  • salt: generous pinch


  1. Roughly chop the cilantro, then add with about half of the olive oil to a food processor or mortar. Do a first blending in the processor or with the pestle
  2. Add remaining ingredients together, leaving a bit of the olive oil, and fully blend/pound, trying to not to over bruise the leaves.
  3. Taste and adjust for more salt/cheese.
  4. Add as much of the remaining olive oil for your desired consistency–more liquid for pastas, more solid for soup toppings
  5. Keeps for a few days in the fridge or freeze for a couple months