For some reason, this year is an exceptionally productive year for cilantro. Usually the cilantro bolts before we even get to pick a sprig for garnish. This year, though, a bunch of plants have sprung up, and I’m finding some great uses for them. Here’s one of my favourites, polenta with cilantro pesto.
This is also gluten-free, and makes a great potluck dish.
yields approx. 1-1/4 cups
2 cups fresh cilantro leaves, packed
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup toasted pepitas
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup grated parmesan or asiago
1/2 cup olive oil
juice of 1/2 lime
Combine cilantro, garlic, pepitas, salt, and parmesan in bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped.
While running food processor on low, slowly pour in olive oil and lime juice. Continue to process until combined.
This will keep, refrigerated for a week, and frozen for a few months.
yields 6 servings
1/4 cup butter
3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups polenta (corn grits)
1/4 cup parmesan
Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan. I like to use my Le Creuset pan for this, because it has a heavy bottom, and the polenta doesn’t stick.
Add in stock and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in polenta until the stock is absorbed. Stir in the parmesan, cover and remove from heat. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Press polenta into an oiled 9″x9″ pan and allow to set. You can refrigerate the polenta at this point.
Serve warm, cut into squares and topped with cilantro pesto.