We posted a pesto special a while back, but last night we did up this variant. It was so good, we decided we’d better share it pronto. This has a wonderful balance between the orange and onion with the savory cilantro and cheese is wonderful.
1 Cup Cilantro, well packed, with the large stems removed
1/4 Cup lightly toasted Hazelnuts (or Almonds)
1/4 Cup extra virgin Olive Oil
+/- 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
Juice & Zest of 1/2 to 1 Orange
2 Tablespoons Shallot
1 clove fresh Garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
If your hazelnuts have skins, preheat your oven to 350° F. Place nuts on a cookie sheet and roast for 15 minutes, or until nuts start to darken notably. Pull them out, toss them into a clean, damp kitchen towel and rub briskly until the skins come off.
Zest and juice orange.
Process everything but the oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender until thoroughly incorporated.
With the processor or blender running, (Low speed if you’ve got one), add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream.
Stop when you hit the consistency you like.
Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
Freeze leftovers as needed. Pesto works great in an ice cube tray, frozen. Just pop out a cube when you need one.