My usual cooking M.O.: make something stupidly easy (like a simple grilled or roasted meat, veggie, or pasta), and top it with an even easier homemade sauce. Sure, a store bought sauce could do the trick, but there’s something about sauce from scratch that takes the simplest meal from 0 to 60.
Pesto is one of those sauces that takes minutes to make, is good on everything, and is so much better from scratch than it is from the jar. Traditional pesto is made with basil, pine nuts, parm, and garlic, but I’m not a purist. I like to modify with whatever greens and herbs I have on hand and over time, I’ve found that my favorite summery version is with cilantro and mint. Perfect on top of smokey grilled meat, bright salads, and veggies, I’m putting this on everything.
Note: This pesto is vegan, which creates a brighter, herbier sauce than the traditional. Feel free to add parm if you don’t limit dairy or just prefer something a bit creamier.
Cilantro Mint Pesto
This decidedly untraditional vegan cilantro mint pesto is bright, summery and easily customizable with your favorite herbs and greens. Top meat, veggies or pasta for an easy, flavorful dish.
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1/2 cup mint
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts Walnuts or almonds also work well
- 1/4 lemon, juiced
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- pinch red pepper flakes Optional
- 1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil Use more or less olive oil, depending on your desired consistency
Add all ingredients other than the olive oil to a food processor or blender, and pulse to combine. Once the mixture is combined, add the olive oil and blend to desired consistency. Taste and adjust (I often add another squeeze of lemon).
Serve on meat, veggies, or pasta, and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.