Spinach-Cilantro Pesto

In only a year, my olive oil collection has grown substantially. I seem to accumulate nice olive oils, then never use them. I always just buy the massive bottles from Costco to use instead. The other day my mom mentioned to me that she only had nice olive oils left, so she was only going to use them. I think I have some sort of mental block that I should save them for a “special occasion”. When will there ever be an olive oil special occasion? This has brought me to the decision that I am going to use my nice olive oils as well. I have begun using the oil that my mom got from her adopted olive farm, my chile infused olive oil from New Zealand (summer 2010!), a lemon olive oil, as well as my new DEVO Cilantro and Roasted Onion infused olive oil. When I heard of this DEVO oil, I was instantly intrigued. I had never heard of such an interesting flavor infusion- I had to try it! DEVO also has many other interesting infused oils, check them out!

One of my favorite ways to use olive oil, other than everyday sautéing, is making pestos. Many people think of pesto and immediately think of basil pesto, but there are so many other pestos out there! My roommate Kelcey recently made an arugula avocado pesto that was to-die-for! I had a bunch of cilantro that was going to go bad in my fridge, so I thought “What better than cilantro pesto with my infused olive oil?” Looking back I probably could have used it for something else, since now I had two things with cilantro, but it was still a great recipe! Cilantro pesto is much different than basil pesto, I warn you that you need to really like the taste of cilantro to like this one. I add a bit of spinach to tone down the flavor a bit. If you are one of those people who can’t get enough of the big cilantro leaves in Chipotle’s rice, then this is the recipe for you. I served my pesto over pasta, tomatoes and spinach.

Spinach-Cilantro Pesto
Recipe type: Sauce
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small shallot
  • ⅓ cup marcona almonds
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro (about 1½ cups)
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil (such at DEVO)
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  1. In food processor, process the garlic and shallot. Once these are minced, add the almonds.
  2. Next add the spinach, cilantro and sherry vinegar and continue to process until smooth.
  3. Slowly add the olive oil until a thick pesto is formed, then salt to taste.


Disclaimer: I received free product from DEVO Olive Oil for this post.


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14 Responses to Spinach-Cilantro Pesto

  1. Elies_Lie says:

    Oh – count me in! I love cilantro!
    This pesto idea is a keeper!
    Tq for sharing the recipe with us – now I have another variation of pesto!
    Tq! 😉

  2. I consider dinner a “special olive oil occasion”! :-)

  3. RavieNomNoms says:

    This looks like a fantastic meal! Totally loving it

  4. Kim Bee says:

    This looks delicious. I have been picking up oils like crazy lately. So many interesting ones on the market these days. I like the combo here, bet the cilantro in it made it extra special.

  5. Pam says:

    Wow – that looks and sounds delicious!

  6. What you have with olive oils, I have with vinegars. I think I only have two olive oils in my pantry; regular and extra virgin. :) Now you’re making me rethink that. The infused versions sound fantastic. Paired with your pesto, I’ll bet it tastes out of this world.

  7. Kelly says:

    This looks absolutely amazing, love this dish! :)

  8. I love cilantro so I would definitely be all over this pesto dish! YUM YUM!

  9. Third pesto recipe today… I’m drooling. And I eat spinach more than Popeye…I would definitely love this pesto!!

  10. Ann says:

    This looks delicious and I agree with you 100%! Years ago, a friend of mine got me a special spice. Paprika from Hungary…I saved it and saved it for a special occasion until it was no longer any good… From that day on, if I get something that is considered “good” that means – to me – use it now! If it’s special, it’s meant to be enjoyed!

  11. Christine says:

    This looks delicious. I like cilantro.

  12. Yum, I’m a pesto addict and I’m very happy to add this to my list. Love cilantro!

  13. Looks Amazing!!! I will try this one out soon!

  14. Olive oil is the most important ingredient to most dishes. It’s such a pleasure to try many different kinds and appreciate their subtle differences. I’m so happy that someone appreciates olive oil as much as I do! Great looking pesto, by the way!