Flashback Recipe: Cilantro Walnut Pesto

Craft & Design Food & Beverage

Image (1) CZ_WebBanner_A_Flashback.gif for post 17682


By Jessica Wilson

One of my most favorite scents in the whole world is cilantro. I know there are quite a few of you folk out there that have some sort of genetic makeup that causes cilantro to taste like soap, and for that I am quite sorry, as it is truly a delight in so many ways. I am also a lover of pesto and eating food straight from the garden. A few weeks ago, we had a bumper crop of cilantro and a whole lotta leftover penne hanging out in the fridge. I remembered making a cilantro pesto years ago, and thought, “Why not try it again?” After a perusal of the cheese drawer I discovered we only had Swiss and aged gouda. Choosing the gouda, an adventure began.

This is a young and spicy pesto that tastes excellent hot or cold. It is delightful on pasta, smeared on a hunk of bread, or as a spread on a sandwich – truly versatile. I recommend following my recipe as a base, as you may not want yours as garlic-spicy as mine, or you may choose to not dance with as much of the gouda. Either way, have a go of it and enjoy!

Download PDF Download the Recipe PDF
Right click to save the PDF to your desktop. Directions on downloading PDFs.


1 cup packed cilantro, chopped
½ cup-1 cup walnuts
1-2 oz aged gouda
not young; you need a hard cheese for pesto
3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice from one lemon
2 garlic cloves
Food processor
a blender would work as well; just chop your ingredients up first
Rubber spatula/scraper
Small glass container with lid


Cilantro Walnut Pesto Step1

Step 1: Assemble your ingredients beforehand to make it easier to process. Slice your lemon and peel your garlic too.

Cilantro Walnut Pesto Step2

Step 2: Rinse your cilantro and chop coarsely. If the stems are not too woody, go for it and toss those into the mix as well. Cilantro that has begun to flower is totally fine to use as well; the blossoms themselves are pretty tasty.

Cilantro Walnut Pesto Step3

Step 3: Add the whole shebang to the bowl of your food processor, lock the lid on, and process away, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula every few rounds or so.

Cilantro Walnut Pesto Step4

Step 4 (optional): Eyeball your pesto. It will resemble the texture of wasabi and be almost as bright. Add a little more cilantro, oil, and/or lemon juice to taste. If you would prefer it to be thinner, add a little more olive oil (by the tablespoon). You may salt it if you wish, but the garlic and cheese will flavor it up big time. Yields about one cup.

Cilantro Walnut Pesto Step5

Step 5: Scoop out into a glass container and store in fridge until ready to use. Or if you just can’t wait, add a dollop to a bowl of pasta and enjoy!

About the Author:

Author Jessicawilson

Jessica Wilson is most happily known as ‘jek in the box’ and spends most of her time crafting it up and taking pictures. She can often be found standing on benches over on Flickr and creating all sorts of kiddie crafts on her blog scrumdilly-do! She lives a life of scrumdillydilly and loves to share.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Haley Pierson-Cox from Red-Handled Scissors is a maker of crafts, a lover of cats, an avid swearing enthusiast, a cross-stitch book author, and a general purveyor of quirk. She's also sometimes an irritable cartoon named Tiny Cranky Haley. https://www.redhandledscissors.com

View more articles by Haley Pierson-Cox


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).