Cilantro-Peanut Pesto

Pasta with Cilantro Sauce 3

Isn’t cilantro the best?  I’m a total cilantro fiend. The $0.69 per bunch herb has some crazy health benefits, and it also adds a delightful little kick of flavor to everything from tacos to guacamole to pasta to chili. I recently even tried it in sushi (drool…)!  To my surprise, I read an article a while ago that said some people actually have a gene that makes cilantro taste plastic-y to them.  As in, they don’t like it because it tastes like chemicals– or something along those lines.  Crazy, right?

This recipe definitely isn’t for those people (I am not entirely sure they exist though, I’ll have to meet one to believe it).  You can ignore this post if you don’t care for the magical little parsley-imposter… but for everyone else who loves cilantro like me, you should try this one ASAP!  Today, I consider this to be one of my staple recipes, and while these pictures show my meal with pasta and broiled steak, I think grilled chicken or shrimp would pair nicely with this sauce as well.

Cilantro-Peanut Pesto

1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, smashed, peeled, and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
zest and juice from one lime (about 2 tsp zest and 2 Tbs juice)
1/4 cup roasted peanuts (plus more for serving, if desired)
2-3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

In a food processor, combine everything except for the soy sauce.  Pulse until a coarse paste forms.  Season with soy sauce and pulse to combine.  In a large bowl, toss pesto with hot pasta (though, if you are serving later, I would wait to mix the pasta and pesto until right before your meal. This results in a more intense flavor!).  Roughly chop additional peanuts and sprinkle over pasta along with extra cilantro leaves and lime wedges if desired.  Serve immediately.

From Our Best Bites

(^^^Our Best Bites is one of my favorite food blogs!)

 

Pasta with Cilantro Sauce 2

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