A couple of weeks back I checked out San Diego restaurant, Venga Venga for the first time.
Between their infused tequilas, delicious margaritas, amazing food and great service, I was so impressed with this authentic Mexican restaurant, found just north of the Mexico border in southern San Diego.
One of the most interesting parts of the dining experience for me was the “rice and beans” they served with their entrees. Instead of traditional Mexican rice and refried or black beans, they serve Cilantro Pesto Risotto and Charro Beans filled with all kinds of deliciousness, including lots of bacon!
I knew that I wanted to recreate the Cilantro Pesto Risotto, so first thing was first, re-create the Cilantro Lime Pesto to add to the risotto.
I made this pesto without cheese, so it’s vegan and paleo!
Whether you’re adding it to the risotto or mixing it with pasta, adding it on top of grilled chicken or steak, or putting a dollop on your morning eggs, you’re going to love this flavorful Mexican spin on pesto!
- 4 cups fresh cilantro leaves
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- ½ cup water
Add the cilantro, garlic, almonds and pepper to a food processor, or blender.
Blend for 15-20 seconds.
Pour the olive oil into the food processor while blending, another 15-20 seconds. Add the lime juice and water, continue blending for 5-10 seconds, or until all ingredients are incorporated.
If you like a little spice, toss a chopped jalapeño in there for a kick!
♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian (and vegan!)
♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.
♠ Paleo Option: This recipe is paleo.