Cilantro, parsley, and jalapeño pesto

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Cilantro, parsley, and jalapeño pesto

Thanks to over-exuberant farmers' market shopping habits, I ended up with a lot of cilantro and parsley. Having an abundance of leafy herbs like this led to a fresh and spicy pesto.

Perhaps it was a little wild and crazy, but I used it on pan-roasted halibut, crostini, chicken, pesto, and mozzarella pizza, and as a pasta sauce (not all at once.) Without cheese and a minimum of oil, the pesto itself is very low-calorie and low fat.

The pesto lasts 4 days in the refrigerator, which is good because I couldn't have tried it on everything in one day.

This is simple and tasty.


  • About 2 cups cilantro leaves with a few stems
  • About 1 cup parsley leaves with a few stems
  • About 3 inches fresh ginger, peeled with the edge of a teaspoon and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large jalapeño, seeded and coarsely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Using a food processor, pulse the ginger, garlic, and jalapeño a few times.
  2. Add the cilantro and parsley, pulsing until finely chopped.
  3. Drizzle in the olive oil while the processor is running until the desired consistency is reached. I prefer pestos that are a little less oily than many recipes. You can always thin it. For example, add a little pasta cooking water.
  4. Season with salt to taste.