Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center

Cilantro & Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Cilantro is super delicate and goes slimy in my fridge way to quickly! Turning it into a pesto is a super way to extend the herbs shelf life and add it’s awesome flavor to anything grilled! It also could become the base for a cilantro salad dressing, just add a little more juice and oil. Be sure to buy the dark green hulled pumpkin seeds. From The Herb Farm Cookbook by Jerry Traunfeld


  • 1/4 C hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 2 C (gently packed) fresh cilantro leaves & tender sprigs
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp seeded & coarsely chopped jalapeno
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C extra-virgin olive oil

  • To toast the pumpkin seeds – pour into a small dry skillet and place over medium heat. When you hear a seed pop, shake the pan continuously until most of the seeds are puffed instead of flat. Pour the seeds onto a paper towel to cool.

  • Process the cooled pumpkin seeds with the remaining ingredients, except the oil, in a food processor until the mixture is finely ground. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides. With the machine running, pour in the oil in a steady stream and continue to process until the mixture is slightly creamy and fairly smooth. Taste and season with additional salt or jalapeno if needed.