Cilantro benefits and my favorite Cilantro-Basil pesto with roasted potatoes

Did you know, that tcilantro-dehe leaves of the coriander plant possess remarkable detoxifying abilities. Studies have shown that cilantro binds to heavy metals in the bloodstream, thereby purifying tissues, organs, and blood. Cilantro is able to attach to heavy metals due to its biochemical content, including citric acid, phytic acid, and amphoteric electrolytes. Cilantro also helps improve digestion and guards against the onslaught of free radicals that hasten aging and promote disease.
Cilantro has also shown anti-anxiety properties and may help to improve sleep quality.

I use Cilantro to make Pesto. Here is one of my favorite recipes: Cilantro-Basil PestoCilantro-basil pesto with roasted rosemary-garlic potatoes:

– 1 large bunch of fresh cilantro (about 2 cups; use the stems and not just the leaves)
– 1 of a cup of fresh basil
– 1/4 cup of good quality olive oil (I like using olive oil from Greece)
– 3 large garlic cloves
– 1/3 of a cup of walnuts
– 1/3 of a cup of almonds
– juice of 1/2 of a lime (if I don’t have lime, I use lemon)
– salt and pepper to taste
– crushed red pepper to taste

You can replace walnuts and almonds with sunflower seeds.

In a food processor, combine and chop the nuts. Then, add in the cilantro, basil, garlic, lime juice, salt, and crushed red pepper and pulse until everything is coarsely chopped. With the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil and blend until everything is thoroughly pureed  and smooth. I like to have a bit of a coarseness to it.

If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender (I used it in the past). Simply do it in batches adding olive oil directly to the batches.

Roasted potatoes: Potatoes are baked  in an oven at 400 degrees F for at least 45 minutes, on a baking sheet.

Cut the potatoes in half or quarters and place in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary; toss until the potatoes are well coated. Lay out the potatoes on a baking sheet and spread out into 1 layer; roast in the oven for at least 45 minutes, or until browned and crisp. Flip twice with a spatula during cooking to ensure even browning. It is a delicious ‘companion’ on those cold wintery days.

Bon Appétit !