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.

Ingredients

  • About 2 cups cilantro leaves with a bit of stems
  • About 1 cup parsley leaves with a bit of 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 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Directions

Using a food processor, pulse the ginger, garlic and jalapeño a few times. Add the cilantro and parsley, pulsing until finely chopped. 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. Season with salt to taste.

Contributor

Preston Maring, MD