Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Flank Steak With Cilantro Almond Pesto

I never said it was pretty.

But it was delicious. I promise. I seriously need help taking appetizing pictures when it's dark outside. Any tips?

I got this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Cooking Light.

Flank Steak With Cilantro Almond Pesto

(Adapted from Cooking Light)


  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
  • Optional: Four whole grain tortillas
  • Optional: 2 bell peppers, sauteed


  • Prepare grill, or grill pan.
  • Combine first 6 ingredients in a blender; process until finely chopped (about 15 seconds). Add yogurt and juice; process until smooth.
  • Grill steak 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Serve steak with pesto.
  • If you want to turn these into tacos, add the steak and pesto to tortillas with sauteed bell peppers (we were going to do this, but at the last minute we decided not to).
I made my pesto without garlic (garlic contains FODMAPs), but Nick and our friend Janan enjoyed theirs with garlic (I had a taste with the garlic and it was fabulous). While this may not be the prettiest dish, it truly was delicious and very simple. As you saw in the first photo, we served the steak and pesto with baked butternut squash, spinach, and sauteed bell peppers (the bell peppers could have been used to turn this meal into steak tacos, but we decided not to do that).

QUESTION: What's your favorite pesto dish? Have you ever made pesto with almonds?

Before I forget to post it, I wanted to share this article from the Wall Street Journal, about the low FODMAPs diet. It sounds like it's really catching on here in the states. Probably works!


  1. never used almonds for pesto. Saw the article, I have a question for you, I will email it.

  2. I don't ever get sick of's so good! I've made it with walnuts...and cilantro! But never walnuts...yet! :)

    I think I have that cookbook, too! Need to find it!

    And Gina, you choose a date for cookies! :)

  3. Never used almonds to make pesto but am sure it's delicious. Over the weekend I made an appetizer with puff pastry that is spread with pesto, sun dried tomatoes and pine nuts - delicious!

    From what I have read a "light box" is the answer for taking better photos when there is no natural light. You can make your own pretty cheap - just google how to make a light box. I need to make myself one. Food photos suffer this time year. :)

  4. I love experimenting with different pestos-- the possibilities are endless!

  5. omg cilantro almond pesto what!? I love pesto's but I swear my favorite is Bonefish pesto sub all the olive oil... I was obsessed with it when I worked there because it was one of my setup stations as a foh - it was so garlicky and salty and tangy and olivey... yum.

    Thanks for the crave-induction Gina... I will be longing for pesto for days.

  6. Sounds delish! Love to make pesto w/ pine nuts, but never tried it with almonds before. I just came across a recipe in Bon Apetit for pumpkin seed/cilantro pesto that sounds really yummy. Pictures this time of year are definitely trickier. Sometimes I make extra food and take my pictures the next day :-)

  7. Wow, sounds delicious! Eric has made pesto with cashews before but not almonds. I've also been wanting to try to make avocado pesto lately because I had the BEST appetizer of bread with avocado pesto at this Italian restaurant and I really want to recreate it.

  8. oh oh!! i want to make this for salmon or chicken! i wonder if it would be just as delicious? i'm not a steak-eater hahahaha but i do love a good solid chicken or salmon dish!

  9. i just posted about pesto on carnival squash - so funny! i haven't tried it with almonds but i'm sure i'd like it :)

  10. I think that happens more often than we think, that something doesn't look good but it still tastes good. I have had a cashew pesto before, but not an almond pesto before. So, I am just curtious about the FODMAPs diet, since I have been overseas since this got big, and I know ou use this for legitimate reasons, but do you think there is a risk or concern for people restricting their diets for unvalidated reasons. I know that it does work, but I would think you would have to have the condition that it would be treating. I guess my question would then be is it really so common, or just it just seem so common because the media picked up on this, or may this hit new fad levels like gluten free for being a cure all for just about everything (which we know is not science based). I would really love to hear your input because I am sure at some point I will be asked about this when people overseas on the base start to hear more and more about this.

  11. Love any pesto recipe. Over the summer, we went to a tasting on a farm, and they used their own basil, garlic and hazelnuts in their pesto. It was delicious. Have a wonderful Thurs, thanks as always for all the info you provide!

  12. I love pesto on spaghetti, so simple but so indulgent!
    I've never thought using pesto as sauce for meat... great idea! Need to explore that! :)