Cilantro & Roasted Jalapeno Pumpkinseed Pesto with Aged Cheddar & Pickled Red Onions

Makes 2½ cups pesto and 3 cups of pickled onions


For the Cilantro Pumpkin Seed Jalapeno Pesto

1½ cups fresh cilantro leaves
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon lime zest
Juice of 2 limes
3 roasted jalapeños, deseeded, peeled and chopped
½ cup pumpkin seeds
1½ teaspoons salt
¼-½ cup olive oil

For the Pickled Onions

1½ cups water (boiling)
1½ cups citrus champagne vinegar (can substitute regular vinegar)
1 tablespoon salt
¼ cup tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 2 limes
4 medium red onions, sliced thin and blanched
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves

Aged Cheddar


Place all ingredients, except the oil, in food processor and pulse until chopped pretty fine. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil through the top until the pesto reaches desired consistency. Add more for a “looser” pesto and less for a “chunkier” version. Season to taste with a little more salt if needed.

Shake together all ingredients except the red onions, lime juice and cilantro leaves until the sugar and salt dissolve and are incorporated fully. Add the onions and the lime juice and stir well, making sure that the onions are fully submerged in the liquid. Cover tightly with a lid and let stand while the mixture cools. (This cooling process will also partially cook the onions). Once cool, add the cilantro leaves and refrigerate for about 6 hours before serving.

Slice baguette and toast in the oven. Spread pesto on toasts and top pickled onion and aged cheddar.

*Store pesto and pickled onions in  airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.