Creamy Cilantro-Pepita Pesto

Wilshire

I wanted to do something simple for my first recipe post & a versatile sauce seemed like a good place to start. A good sauce can really tie a bowl of boring mismatched leftovers together or elevate a veggie burger or wrap more than store-bought condiments might, and all it takes is a blender and a few minutes of your time. I like to try to make a different sauce or dressing each week to repurpose in 2 or 3 meals. When you’re eating solely plant foods, occasionally a meal can feel “incomplete,” but for some reason, carefully topping your dish with a homemade sauce before you dig in really makes a meal seem a lot more special.

This ended up being a spontaneous “what do I have in my kitchen?” sort of recipe rather than a premeditated one, which is always fun. Luckily, I’ve started keeping a notepad in the kitchen to jot down ingredients when I do this, since there have been countless times I’ve been unable to recreate something whipped together in the heat of the moment!

I decided to go with an herb-based sauce for maximum flavor, and because I had been meaning to come up with something that would use up a lot of cilantro. We buy cilantro for the guinea pigs to eat, but they can’t go through a whole bundle of it before it wilts, and Colin and I aren’t a huge fan of too much cilantro as a garnish. In this sauce, a ripe avocado tones down the cilantro and adds that amazing creaminess that only avocado can. Raw pepitas add the textural aspect that pine nuts would in a traditional pesto, and garlic & lemon add even more flavor.

A note for those who hate cilantro– I understand it’s genetically determined whether or not a person enjoys the taste of cilantro or thinks it tastes like soap! So if you’re one of the latter individuals, feel free to switch out all or part of the cilantro for another herb or even for spinach or kale. If you use spinach or kale, you might want to adjust the salt, garlic, and lemon amounts to make up for the lost herb flavor!

Rice & veggie bowl topped with the pesto
Rice & veggie bowl topped with Creamy Cilantro Pepita Pesto

Polenta bowl with crispy chickpeas, roasted carrots, and Creamy Cilantro Pepita Pesto
Polenta bowl with crispy chickpeas, roasted carrots, and Creamy Cilantro Pepita Pesto

Creamy Cilantro-Pepita Pesto
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5+ scoops 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5+ scoops 10 minutes
Creamy Cilantro-Pepita Pesto
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5+ scoops 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5+ scoops 10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: scoops
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients in a blender or food processor & puree until well-combined. Stop and scrape down the sides of the canister as necessary. Store leftovers in a jar in the fridge for several days.
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