I love making pesto with basil during the summer months when I have an abundance of it, but…during the rest of the year, cilantro pesto holds it’s own at a fraction of the cost! This pesto is dairy free, unlike a traditional pesto. I don’t think it sacrifices anything though, because the avocado and toasted cashews add a delicious creamy depth of flavor.
Be sure to remove any big stems from the cilantro before coarsely chopping it.
I like the flavor of this pesto with the cashews lightly toasted because it adds a good amount of richness. If you want to keep this recipe completely 100% raw, skip the toasting step.
Tip: I find it easiest to use a spoon to scoop the avocado out of it’s shell rather than trying to peel it!
Place all of the ingredients for the pesto into a blender or food processor. The blender produces a slightly smooth pesto but the food processor works as well.
If you’re using the blender: blend on low speed using the tamper to keep the ingredients moving along. It will take a couple of minutes for the pesto to come together.
If you’re using the food processor: process the ingredients together, stopping as needed to scrape down the sides until the pesto is mostly smooth
This pesto will keep for up to 1 day if you place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pesto and store it in the refrigerator.
If you’re serving your Cilantro Pesto with Zucchini Noodles, make a full recipe and cut up lots of fresh tomatoes, (about 3 cups) for a topping.
Toss the noodles together with the batch of pesto and arrange them on plates or in a serving dish. Finally, top the noodles with the tomatoes or pass them on the side.
This time, I served my Cilantro Pesto with zucchini and summer squash ‘noodles’ but it’s also amazing as an accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish. It also makes a great topping for Stir-Fried Vegetables on the Grill, or stirred into scrambled eggs for breakfast!
- 2 bunches of cilantro, (4 ounces)
- ½ cup cashews, lightly roasted
- 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
- 2 Teaspoons sea salt
- 4 cloves of garlic minced, measuring 1 Tablespoon
- 1 recipe of Zucchini Noodles
- Freshly chopped tomatoes, about 3 cups
- Coarsely chop the cilantro, leaving most of the stems behind.
- Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on a low speed using the tamper to keep the mixture moving. It will take a couple of minutes before the pesto becomes fairly smooth.
- If you're using a food processor: process all ingredients, scraping down the sides as necessary until the pesto is mostly smooth.
- Serve immediately as desired or with a recipe of Zucchini Noodles and freshly chopped tomatoes.
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