The cilantro is going great guns and the best way I know to use a lot of it at once is pesto. And wow, if you are a cilantro fan and have never tasted cilantro pesto you are in for a treat. I use pecans because I have a lot of those, too, but you can use whatever nut you have in abundance (insert your own joke here).
makes about 2 cups
5 oz. (about 4 cups packed) fresh cilantro
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup toasted nuts (pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, et al.), chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Wash the cilantro. This is what 5 oz. of cilantro looks like:
Blend until smooth. This will require turning off the blender a few times to smush things down. Philistines who complain about the noise from the blender interrupting their television show do not get any pesto. Remove to a bowl and stir in the cheese and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.
I use this pesto stirred into pasta, in dollops on pizza, mixed into vinaigrettes, and over fish. Stir some into cream cheese for a cracker spread or just eat it with a spoon. Delicious. It freezes very well, too. There will be some oxidation on the top surface but it won’t hurt anything-just stir it in when you are ready to use it. If it bothers you, pour a thin layer of oil over the top before storing the pesto.
By the way, gardening note here–I haven’t planted cilantro in years. I let some go to seed (coriander!) and it spread around my yard and garden by itself and comes up on its own every year. If you love this herb just leave it alone and it’ll come home, wagging its tail behind it.