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Friday, October 22, 2010

Tomatillo- Cilantro Pesto

Tomatillo- Cilantro Pesto
Colin Killick
September, 2010
approximately 3/4 bunch cilantro
1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled  and cubed.
juice of 3 limes
¼ cup finely grated hard Mexican cheese (cotija is good) or use ricotta salata
½ cup shelled pumpkin seeds, toasted in skillet until lightly browned
½ cup caramelized onion* (optional)
1 Hatch or serrano chile, chopped.
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
splash red wine vinegar

  1. Add cilantro and tomatillos to food processor. Start, and add olive oil in slow steady stream, then stop processor.
  2. Add pumpkin seeds, cheese, onion, and avocado and pulse until integrated.
  3. Add lime juice and seasonings, a little at a time, pulsing processor, then tasting after each addition. Stop when taste is right: mixture should be sour, intense and pleasantly salty.
  4. Remove from processor to serving bowl, and refrigerate an hour or more to let flavors blend.  Serve with Spiced Lamb Meatballs, if desired.

* For caramelized onion: in large skillet over medium-high heat, frequently stir 2 medium, sliced onions in 1 Tablespoon olive oil until onions start to become limp; reduce heat to low and stir frequently until onions are very soft and browned, 40 to 45 minutes.

Note: this pesto works well in lieu of (or in addition to) salsa in nachos or other Mexican dishes; it is also wonderful as a sauce for pasta.

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