Just in time for The Big Football Game, here’s a seasonal dip fresh from the garden that the toughest of guys will love. My giant, 6’4″ husband loves it!
There’s nothing like the bright, grassy flavor of cilantro in the middle of winter. Out here in Cali, winter is when it grows best. It’s wonderful for adding to stir fries, fish tacos, quiches, salads, you name it! But when I think about cilantro, my mind automatically wanders to salsa. Sadly, we don’t have ripe tomatoes or peppers right now.
So what else can we do to get that cilantro onto a dipping chip? The answer: Cilantro Pesto Dip. This dip gathers all the freshest flavors of the season for a tangy, zesty, creamy dip worthy of your finest tortilla chips! This recipe has it all: bright grapefruit (juice and zest) ripe from my neighbor’s tree; walnuts, onion, and garlic from the farmers’ market. The only “naughty” ingredients are the black olives (those are from a can) and the jalapenos.
Cilantro Pesto Dip
1 large bunch of cilantro (about 3 cups), chopped roughly, including stems and leaves
1 cup walnuts
1 cup black olives
½ a large onion, roughly chopped
3 jalapeno peppers, roughly chopped in quarters (use less if you don’t like the heat—but remember, this is being added to sour cream later, so the heat will mute)
Juice & zest from one large grapefruit
1-2 cloves garlic (again, use more or less depending on how much you like garlic)
3 Tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil (use the best quality you can find)
Salt to taste (about ¼ teaspoon—remember, your chips will have salt)
1 16-oz container light sour cream
Organic blue or yellow corn tortilla chips for dipping
Farmers’ Market Fare: cilantro, walnuts, olives, onion, peppers, garlic, olive oil, grapefruit
Supermarket Ingredients: salt, sour cream, tortilla chips
Add all the ingredients (except for sour cream and tortilla chips) to the bowl of a food processor. I find it blends more easily if you put the liquid ingredients on the bottom, followed by the non-liquid ingredients, because you’ll end up scraping down the sides less often.
Turn the food processor on and blend until you have a creamy mixture. Turn off the processor and scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure that all the ingredients are incorporated and pulse again. Now, you have a bold cilantro pesto.
Remove one cup of the cilantro pesto and add it to a medium bowl. Add the sour cream to the bowl. Stir the two together. Voila! You have a delicious dip! Grab your chips and dig in!
Note: if the dip is too strong for your tastes, add more sour cream.
You’ll have lots of pesto left over. I store it in an airtight container in my fridge and use it to make more dip for up to a month. You can use the dip to top tacos, nachos, or anything else where you would otherwise add a dollop of sour cream. You could also add the pesto (without the sour cream) to Southwest-style pastas, soups, or stir it into a bowl of black beans to serve as a side dish.