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This pesto starts with cilantro, not basil.

Can you make pesto with cilantro instead of basil? Yes, because it's the technique, not the ingredients, that gives the sauce its name (in Italian, pesto means ground or pounded). And when you blend other pesto basics--Parmesan cheese and olive oil--with cilantro (coriander) in place of basil, the resulting sauce has the same bright green color, but a distinctive flavor that builds delicately after a few bites.

Like pesto made with basil, this sauce is versatile; serving suggestions follow. Cilantro Pesto

Pack 2 cups fresh cilantro leaves and stems into a measuring cup; you'll need about 1/2 pound.

In a blender or food processor, grind cilantro with 1 clove garlic, 1/2 cup (about 4 oz.) grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup pine nuts, and 1 teaspoon grated lime peel until very finely chopped. With motor running, add 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil or salad oil until mixture is the consistency of a thick paste. Add salt to taste.

Use as suggested below, or cover and chill up to 4 days (stir before using), or freeze. Makes about 1-1/3 cups.

Toast. Spread thin slices of toasted French bread or Melba toast with cilantro pesto. Broil 4 inches from heat until bubbly. Serve hot as an appetizer, allowing 2 to 4 pieces per person.

Dip. Mix equal parts cilantro pesto and mayonnaise. Use as a dip for cold cooked crab, shrimp, or raw vegetables; allow 1/4 cup for each serving.

Salad dressing. Blend 6 tablespoons cilantro pesto with 1/3 cup lemon juice and 2/3 cup salad oil. Mix with salad greens, or spoon over slice fruit such as papaya or avocado. Makes 1-1/3 cups; allow 2 tablespoons for each serving.

Vegetable sauce. Blend 3 tablespoons cilantro pesto with 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) soft butter or margarine. Serve on hot cooked vegetables such as corn on the cob, green beans, carrots, or peas. Makes 2/3 cup.
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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Jul 1, 1984
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