Fall Colors and Cilantro Pesto

It was just a few weeks ago that I was on campus and blown away by the amazing colors on one of the trees.  It was a beautiful sunny day and I was able to capture a great picture with the blue sky in the background.  Now later in the month, the tree hardly has any leaves and the sky has turned gray.  Fall has arrived, rain and all.


Which means that I will soon need to put my chacos away and wear real shoes and socks, like a proper Alaskan.


I will also need to start making more pizza.  I love, and I mean love, pizza in the colder months.  Pizza is a great comfort food for me, and I enjoy how baking a pizza warms up the house.  Lately I have been putting a lot of vegetables on the pizzas I’ve made, and instead of a tomato based sauce I’ve been using olive oil, garlic, and pesto.  Mainly out of laziness and not wanting to prepare a batch of sauce.  Earlier in the summer we bought a giant container of cilantro so I made pesto using cilantro and walnuts, instead of the fancy basil/pine nut pesto you’ll usually find.  I find that I don’t really like this pesto as much for pasta, or dishes that really rely on the pesto for almost all it’s flavor.  The flavor is just more bitter-which I attribute mostly to the walnuts vs. pine nuts, but I know it also has to do with the cilantro vs. basil as well.  So what I did was take a bunch of tiny, tiny bags, made my pesto and froze it.  Now whenever I want I can just throw a packet in the microwave, defrost, and make myself pizza!

I love the colors on this pizza.  My father made the dough, and I topped it with my cilantro pesto, spinach, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, bell pepper, white onion, and feta cheese.  There is just  a small sprinkle of mozzarella as well.

Recipe: Cilantro Pesto

This recipe is more of a guide then anything else

A bunch of Cilantro-stemmed
1-2 handfuls of walnuts
1/2 a lemon, juiced
garlic, minced
cayenne pepper
olive oil
1/4 c. or so parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Throw the cilantro, walnuts, and lemon into the food processor. Pulse, adding olive oil until the mixture can be processed into a paste with ease. Add the salt, pepper, garlic (a spoonful or two if you love garlic), and cayenne to taste.

If you are going to freeze the pesto do not add the cheese. I honestly don’t put any in unless I am using the pesto for pasta. I find it doesn’t make a lick of difference on my pizza if the parmesan is added or not-so I don’t.  After the mixture tastes pretty well, I freeze it in little baggies until it’s pizza-makin’ time!

One thought on “Fall Colors and Cilantro Pesto

  1. Taryl

    Mmm, pizza! I Wouldn’t have thought of using pesto on it, but now that I think about it the whole thing sounds super yum. Must give this a try…

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