Last week, I had to go away to Melbourne for five days and I spent a couple of days clearing out the fridge. I made some laksa paste and a shallot, ginger, chilli paste for a Burmese curry base. Things were going well and I was feeling pleased with my thrifty frugal house-wifery when I thoughtlessly bought a big bunch of beautifully fragrant coriander and had to use it quickly before I flew out of town and didn’t want to come back to a slimey brown mess.
I get a bit fixated on basil pesto and forget about the other types of pesto that are equally delicious. Coriander is at its pungent best in Sydney during the cooler months, so I don’t know why I don’t make coriander pesto more often, because it’s absolutely sensational. It is quite difficult to stop eating it as a dip, on toast, on noodles, in soups. I had some on lunch of udon noodles with some marinated tofu (which also needed using up) but it’s not only good with Asian-style dishes. When I came back from Melbourne, my partner had made a minestrone soup and it was great as dollop on that too.
- 1½ cups of coriander leaves and half the stems roughly chopped (about 1 large bunch)
- 1 to 2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
- ⅓ cup of light olive oil
- ¼ to half a cup of nuts (pinenuts, cashew, macadamia nuts all work well)
- Salt and black pepper to taste.
- Lightly toast the nuts in cast iron pan. Cool and place in a bowl of a food processor.
- Add coriander leaves and garlic to nuts and whizz a couple of times. Then slowly pour oil into the funnel while processing to make a smooth paste. Be careful not to over process. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour into a glass container to keep, pour a layer of oil over the top to stop the herbs from oxidising. It will keep for about a week in the fridge.