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Coriander (Cilantro) and Lemon Pesto (with Celeriac 'Pasta')

This morning a kindly elderly lady stopped me in the gym to tell me I have a "lovely running style" - she'd been watching me on the treadmill! I graciously thanked her and held back from regaling her with epic tales of my running related injuries (shin splints, stress fractures, patella pain, ITB injuries, tendonitis etc etc). These days my runs are limited to a ceiling of 5km and I focus on sprint training.

Coriander (Cilantro) and Lemon Pesto

In the same way I have learned what running suits my body, I am now equally mindful of what foods are harmful to me.

I have always loved pesto - the freshness of the herbs along with the tangy parmesan cheese and the nutty richness. Yum. Though I have used coriander here, this recipe works just as well with the more traditional basil. If pine nuts aren't your thing then I find walnuts taste great instead.

I tried this with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) first which I generally prefer but, as it is less refined it has a stronger olive flavour, overpowering the pesto, so in this recipe I prefer to use olive oil or avocado oil.

Nutritional yeast yields a convincingly cheesey backdrop and stored in this jar, it could almost pass for shop-bought!

Serve stirred through some spiralised or shaved vegetable 'pasta', as shown below with the celeriac 'pasta' or use as a dip with crunchy veg crudites. I also like a big dollop smeared onto a slice of grain-free seed 'bread'.

Coriander (Cilantro) and Lemon Pesto

Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free

Makes 1 jar (approx 3/4 cup)

2 cups lightly packed (approx 80g) fresh coriander, washed and dried
1/3 cup (50g) unsalted pine nuts
2 cloves garlic (yields approx 1 tsp minced), peeled
1/4 cup avocado oil or olive oil
juice of half a lemon (approx 2 tbsp)
1/3 cup (approx 15g) nutritional yeast
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

If serving with Celeriac 'Pasta':
approx 250g celeriac serves 2, peeled and 'shaved' using a vegetable peeler

Coriander (Cilantro) and Lemon Pesto with Celeriac 'Pasta'

1. Place coriander, garlic and pine nuts to food processor and blend until finely chopped.
2. Add lemon juice, avocado/olive oil and nutritional yeast and continue to blend until smooth.
3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Store in a sealed glass jar in the fridge or freeze in ice cubes for easy defrosting by portion.
5. Serve as a dip with crunchy vegetable crudites or over spiralised vegetable 'pasta'.
6. I like it tossed in with long shavings of earthy celeriac, made simply with a vegetable peeler. Serve with extra pesto on the top and, if preferred, add a handful of protein eg shredded pulled pork as shown or some toasted walnuts and extra sprinkle of nutritional yeast.