Cilantro Pesto over Zucchini Noodles - Food | GI 365GI 365

Cilantro Pesto over Zucchini Noodles

Cilantro Pesto over Zucchini Noodles | GI 365

I love making pesto with basil during the summer months when I have an abundance of it, but…during the rest of the year, cilantro pesto holds it’s own at a fraction of the cost! This pesto is dairy free, unlike a traditional pesto. I don’t think it sacrifices anything though, because the avocado and toasted cashews add a delicious creamy depth of flavor.

Cilantro Pesto over Zucchini Noodles | GI 365 Cilantro Pesto over Zucchini Noodles | GI 365 Cilantro Pesto over Zucchini Noodles | GI 365

Be sure to remove any big stems from the cilantro before coarsely chopping it.

Cilantro Pesto over Zucchini Noodles | GI 365

I like the flavor of this pesto with the cashews lightly toasted because it adds a good amount of richness. If you want to keep this recipe completely 100% raw, skip the toasting step.

Cilantro Pesto over Zucchini Noodles | GI 365 Tip: I find it easiest to use a spoon to scoop the avocado out of it’s shell rather than trying to peel it!

Cilantro Pesto over Zucchini Noodles | GI 365

Place all of the ingredients for the pesto into a blender or food processor. The blender produces a slightly smooth pesto but the food processor works as well.

If you’re using the blender: blend on low speed using the tamper to keep the ingredients moving along. It will take a couple of minutes for the pesto to come together.

If you’re using the food processor: process the ingredients together, stopping as needed to scrape down the sides until the pesto is mostly smooth

Cilantro Pesto over Zucchini Noodles | GI 365

This pesto will keep for up to 1 day if you place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pesto and store it in the refrigerator.

Cilantro Pesto over Zucchini Noodles | GI 365

If you’re serving your Cilantro Pesto with Zucchini Noodles, make a full recipe and cut up lots of fresh tomatoes, (about 3 cups) for a topping.

Cilantro Pesto over Zucchini Noodles | GI 365

Toss the noodles together with the batch of pesto and arrange them on plates or in a serving dish. Finally, top the noodles with the tomatoes or pass them on the side.

Cilantro Pesto over Zucchini Noodles | GI 365 Cilantro Pesto over Zucchini Noodles | GI 365

This time, I served my Cilantro Pesto with zucchini and summer squash ‘noodles’ but it’s also amazing as an accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish. It also makes a great topping for Stir-Fried Vegetables on the Grill, or stirred into scrambled eggs for breakfast!

Cilantro Pesto over Zucchini Noodles
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: makes 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 bunches of cilantro, (4 ounces)
  • ½ cup cashews, lightly roasted
  • 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 2 Teaspoons sea salt
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced, measuring 1 Tablespoon
  • 1 recipe of Zucchini Noodles
  • Freshly chopped tomatoes, about 3 cups
Instructions
  1. Coarsely chop the cilantro, leaving most of the stems behind.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on a low speed using the tamper to keep the mixture moving. It will take a couple of minutes before the pesto becomes fairly smooth.
  3. If you're using a food processor: process all ingredients, scraping down the sides as necessary until the pesto is mostly smooth.
  4. Serve immediately as desired or with a recipe of Zucchini Noodles and freshly chopped tomatoes.
Notes
To keep this recipe totally raw, skip roasting the cashews.


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4 Responses to “Cilantro Pesto over Zucchini Noodles”

  1. Tana Greene September 6, 2013 7:53 am #

    I never thought to use cilantro. what a great idea.

    • Kari September 6, 2013 5:08 pm #

      I love this cilantro pesto with everything, but especially straight from the spoon!

  2. Apoorva May 14, 2014 4:32 pm #

    Hi Kari, I’ve just discovered your website and can’t wait to try some of this stuff out. I’m allergic to avocados, is there anything else I can use to get that creamy flavour and texture?

    • Kari May 15, 2014 10:58 am #

      You could use olive oil instead like a traditional pesto. Try starting with 1/3 cup (minus the oil called for in the recipe), if the pesto is too thick to blend, add a bit more oil or some water if you’re watching your calories. Be sure to add only enough to blend, (you’ll have to use the tamper to keep the mixture moving) pesto is supposed to be pretty thick. Hope this helps and let me know if you have anymore questions, (and how you like the recipe)! :)

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