Back in the fall, I had a chili potluck at my house to help me decide which of the two chilis I should enter in the Lone Star Vegetarian Chili Cook-off. Someone offered to bring cilantro pesto, and I must admit I was a bit confused. Why would someone bring pesto to a chili potluck? I didn’t realize that it would double as a delicious dip and be super addicting. This pesto is thicker than the usual pesto (which of course can be changed by adding more oil or liquid), raw, vegan, and good for you. Sounds disgusting, but it actually has a bright, flavorful taste that goes well with pretty much everything. Instead of salt, soy sauce is used, elevating this pesto to umami heaven.
I rarely share recipes that I haven’t created on my own or altered, but this recipe has to be shared completely unaltered. There are a few changes that you can make if you need too though, such as omitting the olive oil and nutritional yeast flakes. The most annoying, time consuming part for me, is to clean and pick the cilantro leaves, but I suppose you could roughly chop the bunches, stems and all. I don’t like to include too many stems, because I feel it makes it bitter.
Bonus: This recipe was adapted from Dr. David G. Williams’ recipe. Cilantro is said to help flush toxic metals, such as lead, aluminum, and mercury out of your body. This is particularly helpful to those who still partake in fish, or those who eat certain Mexican candies or still use some cooking vessels from Mexico. Dr. Williams recommends eating 2 teaspoons a day for 3 weeks for flushing out heavy metals. Use this pesto as a spread, dip, salad dressing, pasta sauce, addition to guacamole and salsas, etc. The pesto can also be frozen.
Thank you Maria & Larry for bringing this pesto, and thank you Sukie for sending me the recipe!
Shirley’s Cilantro Pesto
2 garlic cloves, chopped
¼ cup raw almonds or cashews
2-3 cups packed fresh cilantro (about 2-3 bunches)
2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
1 tablespoon Tamari or soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, optional
1/3 cup olive oil
Blend all ingredients together in a blender or food processor until smooth.