Coriander Pesto

Southern Costa Rica is blessed with a luscious abundance of exotic fruit; mangoes and papayas are dropping off the trees and bananas of all shapes and sizes are everywhere. I could live on avocados but would probably end up shaped like one. In comparision the vegetable selection is a bit mundane. Winter vegetables (red and white cabbages, carrots and cauliflower) are widely available and suprisingly beetroot which I’ve never seen on a Tico restaurant menu.

By the end of the week I’m often left with a carrot or a potato, some cauliflower or some butternut squash and wonder how to liven them up. There’s no shortage of coriander or cilantro as they call it in these parts so I made a coriander pesto to serve with plain steamed veggies. A spoonful on a piece of pan-fried mahi mahi is also yummy, in fact it tastes good with a lot of things.

 Coriander Pesto


  • 4 handfuls coriander leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic peeled and cut in half
  • 1 handful cashews or almonds  or any nuts you like
  • 2 tblspn parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup good quality olive oil (not EVOO)


  1. In a food processor reduce basil/coriander, garlic, turmeric, salt and pepper to a smooth paste
  2. Add pine kernels and cheese and blend
  3. Add the oil a little at a time till smooth and creamy
  4. Add a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of turmeric powder to taste


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