Middle Eastern Dressing with Cilantro & Roasted Pepper


You bought a bunch of cilantro, only to use 3 measly stems to flavor guacamole last weekend. Now, midweek, it’s hanging out in your fridge waiting for the inevitable–to turn slimy, dark, and utterly useless, but to coat the bottom of your trash bag of course.

Save your herb’s fate by making this refreshing Middle Eastern flavored dressing that’s great on salad, as a marinade for shrimp or chicken, or even over scrambled eggs. Toasted pine nuts and sesame seeds give it a great woodiness while lemon juice brightens and rejuvenates. This dressing is complex in flavor, which makes it perfect for spicing up any basic dish.

Middle Eastern Dressing
with Cilantro 
and Roasted Pepper

Makes about 1 cup

– 1 small garlic clove, sliced thin
– 1 Tbs. pine nuts
– 1 Tbs. sesame seeds
– 1/2 large red bell pepper, roasted until skin is blistered, skin removed
– 10 stems of fresh cilantro, approx.
– 5 stems of fresh thyme
– 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
– 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
– kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
– dash of smoked paprika

In a skillet, toast the pine nuts, sesame seeds, and garlic over low heat, frequently tossing the ingredients, until seeds and nuts are fragrant and light brown.


roasted red bell pepperMiddle Eastern dressing before blending

 Add the toasted mixture with the pepper, cilantro, thyme, and juice to a food processor. While blending, slowly pour in the oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with smoked paprika.


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