Cilantro Pesto Pizza


January 18, 2013 by Meg G.

I don’t know about you, but we find it next to impossible to keep cilantro in the house without it going to waste. We’ve tried putting it in water on a sunny windowsill, wrapping it in paper towels in the fridge, and buying a little potted plant at the grocery store. In all cases, it seems to die or wilt or just generally not go well. I’d gladly take your keeping-cilantro-alive suggestions below. In the meantime, my current solution is to make a big batch of cilantro pesto before it can go to waste.

This is definitely a work in progress, but it’s a good start. I took a basic recipe from Real Simple (love that magazine!) and then messed around with it. Here goes!

Cilantro Pesto

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh cilantro, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pesto Prep - Small World Supper Club


  1. Place garlic in the food processor and process until minced. 
  2. Add cilantro, pine nuts, lime juice, and sesame oil and process until thick. Drizzle in olive oil and process until smooth.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and pulse to combine.

Cilantro Pesto - Small World Supper Club

Soooo, here’s the thing.

I started with two garlic cloves because we have some monster-sized garlic at the moment. Boy am I glad I did, because this stuff was super garlicky. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some garlic; I just prefer that it not be so very sharp and overpowering. So, I added another 1/2 cup of cilantro and the pine nuts, to temper the flavor a bit.

I had been looking forward to using toasted sesame oil since we had picked it up during a rare, impromptu, and accidentally expensive HomeGoods trip. (We left asking, “What just happened?”) Turns out, I’m not sure this is where sesame oil belongs. I think perhaps it should stick to stir fries and other asian cooking. I was so excited to use it, only to realize it didn’t add much to the pesto at all. I say stick to olive oil-based pestos, friends, but that’s just me.

Pizza Assembly:

We decided to pair the cilantro/lime flavors with black beans and sautéed onions and peppers. Top that puppy with some mozzarella cheese and you’ve got yourself a delicious pizza.

Sautéed Orange Peppers - Small World Supper Club

Black Beans - Small World Supper Club

We use Olga’s pre-made pizza crusts. Don’t judge.

Cilantro Pesto Pizza Assembly - Small World Supper Club


Cilantro Pesto Pizza - Small World Supper Club

Be sure to cover those beans with cheese. You can see that, when left exposed, they burst open in the 450 degree oven.

Despite the garlic:pizza ratio, this was still really yummy. It was the perfect on-the-go meal for our Thursday night adventure – a Canning 101 class at City Chicks Boston, a small business that runs Home Ec classes for the 21st century. The class was awesome, full of information, tips, and run by friendly and smart people. If you live in the Boston area, I highly recommend popping over to their website to learn more. I see some canning in our future…

Canning Class - Small World Supper Club


Cilantro Pesto Pizza - Small World Supper Club

4 thoughts on “Cilantro Pesto Pizza

  1. Valerie says:

    That looks delicious!!

  2. sethsnap says:

    This looks really good. (Minus the beans) Have you tried without the beans? I love cilantro!!

    • Meg G. says:

      Thanks! We haven’t tried it without beans, but I’m sure it would be delicious. If you eat meat, you could sub in chicken. Let us know how it goes!

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,762 other subscribers


No Instagram images were found.


%d bloggers like this: