A different take on pesto.

A few days ago, I blogged about my obsession with pesto.  Yes, I am a pesto purist… I prefer original, classic pesto made with fresh basil, however… my basil is only a couple of inches tall and there’s enough to make about 3 teaspoons of pesto right now.  While I wait impatiently, I am going to try something new and different today.  I am going to make pesto with cilantro!

I love cilantro and it grows well here.  I have a pretty good-sized volunteer plant coming up in last year’s herb bed, and I’ve been using it in various dishes for the last couple of weeks.  I like it just chopped up on top of a salad.  It just tastes so fresh.  Well, yesterday, my husband and I made a couple of trips into Augusta for free compost, and it was a pretty much miserable experience because the wind was howling, so we rewarded ourselves with a trip to Taco Bell for lunch.  We don’t eat there often, but we used to before the “big diet” began on January 1st.  I ordered fresco tacos from the “drive-through diet” menu, and maybe I was just starving (the service was awful – 15 minutes to get $7.00 worth of food – ridiculous), but they were delicious!  It was a regular beef taco in a crispy shell, but there was no cheese (a calorie-saving maneuver) and there was an amazing cilantro pico de gallo type sauce on it.  I was inspired to do something with cilantro this weekend, and yesterday, as we were shoveling compost in a 40 mph wind, it hit me (along with a face-full of compost) – pesto!  I have pine nuts on the grocery list and I will harvest the cilantro just before dinner and whip up a batch in the food processor.  You can do it in a blender, but that is the best food processor I have ever owned.  I use it several times a week.  And what I love the most about it is just such a crazy thing – the cord winds into the bottom so you don’t have it out trailing on the countertop when you’re not using it – such a simple thing, but so brilliant!  But I digress…

So I’ll be making cilantro pesto tonight and something else to go with… I’ve been craving tarragon chicken salad, but it’s cold out again, so I might make a small pot of chili instead.  I will rate and release my cilantro pesto recipe as soon as I’ve tried it.  I plan to leave salt out of it because frankly, I’ve been consuming way too much sodium lately.  We’re doing a calorie-counting diet plan through www.livestrong.com, and it’s working, but I admit I’ve been using too much salt to give more flavor to my food.  I doubt I will ever completely break my salt addiction, because I do really well without it sometimes and then it seems I fall off the wagon and start using again, but it’s time to try to cut back again.  It’s a good thing that the fresh herbs are growing, because that’s the best way to do it!

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