I think there should be some sort of lesson given to that explains the HUGE benefits of using sauces when cooking. True Food Kitchen, one of my favorite restaurants, takes a bowl of quinoa, sweet potatoes and grilled chicken and elevates it with the addition of cilantro pumpkin seed pesto. Just a simple addition of this pesto makes it all so much better. Ever since trying out their amazing bowls, I have been daydreaming about them but it wasn't until I tried to recreate the pumpkin seed cilantro pesto did I see the magic in this combination. And then I started to figure out all of the various things I could do with it.
As a home cook, pesto was one of those things I didn't attempt to make. After a few attempts, I really don't know why it scared me so much. The food processor does all the work and it is ready in minutes.
Normally pesto is basil, pine nuts, olive oil and Parmesan but it doesn't have to be that way. Some greens, some sort of nutty thing, some oil, garlic, salt and pepper and that is you really need. Cheese is not necessary. I have been seeing recipes for things like arugula walnut pesto, spinach almond pesto and NOW this cilantro pumpkin seed pesto.
Magic sauce--that adds fun and flavor to everything! Smear it on grilled chicken, toss it on pasta, re-create your own True Foods Kitchen bowls with these sweet potatoes, or just smear it on toast.
You really can use this on everything. Get creative!
I am doing a few other posts in the next couple of weeks featuring sauces like this. They elevate simple things to the next level. When cooking any type of meals, sauces are a great thing to know and use.
Cilantro Pumpkin Seed Pesto
- 1 ½ cups loosely packed cilantro
- ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- juice from ½ lime
- pinch of salt
- ⅛ cup olive oil + 1-2 Tablespoons to thin if needed
- pinch of crushed red pepper
- Add all to the food processor and process until the correct consistency.