Super Simple Vegan Cilantro Pesto

You wouldn’t think that this pungent herb was so tricky to cook with, but it is incredibly easy to over do it with cilantro. A tad too much and your entire meal can reek of it, overpowering all the other flavors. It is also one of those herbs that many people vehemently hate. I too once turned my nose up at this fragrant little herb. Years of indian and mexican restaurants dumping mountains of the stuff into their food had given me a distaste for it. Like MSG, it’s a lazy way to season things.

Despite all that, I’ve slowly started incorporating it again into my own cooking. My rules are to pair it with something that balances it’s strength and remember that a little goes a long, long way. Why my turn around? Theoretically, cilantro and coriander seeds are great. They aid digestion, relieve colic, reduce gas, and stimulate digestion. Moreover, I hate being ruled by something I dislike. Most often when people say they don’t like something, it’s because they’ve eaten in a bad dish or prepared by a poor cook. I’m here to fix that. This pesto is thin enough to put in a squeeze bottle or drizzle over a dish. If you want it thicker, just reduce the water added.

Simple Cilantro Pesto Sauce

1 large bunch of fresh cilantro, ends trimmed 
1 handful fresh spinach 
1/4 cup nutritional yeast 
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds 
1/4 olive oil
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar 
4 cloves raw garlic
 1 tbsp salt or to taste

Combine all ingredients, except salt, in a blender and slowly turn up the speed. Tamp down, add salt, and adjust seasoning if needed. Process until completely smooth and use sparingly!

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