An easy and fresh cilantro jalapeno pesto recipe that replaces basil with cilantro and adds grilled jalapeños for extra flavor and a touch of heat! Slather it on fish and grill them up for a quick and easy week-night dinner!
Becoming a mom has changed my life in more ways than I would have ever thought. More than the words-can’t-describe-it love. More than the sleep deprivation and those crazy days when you want to scream.
Motherhood has completely changed my outlook on life. My old priorities: career. Work hard, nose to the grindstone, get a prestigious career, buy a fancy house, have kids, do it all. I’ve recently discovered that I don’t want to do it all. Not at all.
What do I want? Life to slow down. To be more present, in the moment, my brain not thinking about work when I’m at home and family when I’m at work. I want the slow and relaxed pace that life had when I was on maternity leave.
So we’ve made the decision that after I graduate (sometime at the end of 2015), life is going to slow down. If we can afford it, I will work part-time. Dinner won’t be a freak-out. Week-ends will be for family time, not chores. And hopefully, I can get to the place where I live in the moment and enjoy all the wonderful things that I have in my life.
You guys, I just got really deep with you. Over pesto. What can I say? Pesto evokes deep emotion out of me 😉
OK not really, but if any pesto were to evoke deep emotions, this cilantro jalapeno pesto may just be the one.
This pesto has a cool cilantro-jalapeño-lime kind of thing going on, and it is pretty darn delicious. Let me clarify that those aren’t raw jalapeños, but rather grilled jalapeños, so they get that sweeter, more pronounced jalapeño flavor going on, and waaay less spicy.
This cilantro jalapeno pesto would be wonderful on a whole lotta things: pizza, sandwiches, etc, but I decided to go with fish. Specifically, white fish. I used tilapia, but it would be wonderful on all sorts of fish.
Because my tilapia was pretty thin, and my barbecue has a reputation for setting things on fire (no joke), I grilled it on a sheet of aluminum foil. A few minutes per side was all it took for a seriously easy week-night dinner. We slathered ours with some extra pesto, and served it with a big salad.
And clearly I am in need of easy week-night dinners, as you can tell from the first paragraph of this post 😉
Hope you are all having a wonderful Monday. And I’d love to hear from parents: did having children change your priorities in life in a surprising way?
- 4 jalapeño peppers whole *see note
- spray oil
- 4 cups cilantro loosely packed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- juice from 2 limes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 4 tilapia fillets or white fish of your choice
Pre-heat barbecue to medium-high. Spray jalapeño peppers with oil, and cook on the grill, turning every 2 minutes until charred and cooked through.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. (**leave the BBQ on for cooking the fish!)
While jalapeño peppers are cooling, assemble all pesto ingredients in a 7-cup food processor fitted with a steel blade.
Remove the stems and seeds from the cooled jalapeños, and do your best to peel off the skin. If it wouldn't peel, I didn't worry about it and moved on. **You may wish to wear protective gloves when handling the jalapeños.
Place the peeled and de-seeded jalapeños into the food processor and blend for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula and blend for 30 more seconds.
Spray a large piece of aluminum foil with spray oil. Arrange fish fillets on the aluminum, and spread generously with pesto.
Cook the fish on the foil over medium heat on the barbecue. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 4 minutes, or until fish is cooked through and flakes with a fork.
*depending on the type of fish you use, and the thickness of the fillets, cook times will vary.