Saturday, January 17, 2009

Black Bean Chili with Cilantro Pesto

From Jenny Also Cooks

It is cold outside, and what is better than a nice bowl of something hearty and warm? I have made many recipes from Vegan Planet, which is still my favorite vegan cookbook, but I was stuck on the backyard barbecue chili because it has become such a favorite in our household. I decided to try one of the other chili recipes in the book and was not disappointed!

This chili is flavorful without the cilantro pesto, but I would urge you to take the extra two minutes it takes to make the pesto - it perks up every bite of the chili, and adds such depth of flavor. I also served it with sour cream which would make it no longer vegan, in case you're keeping track.

Black Bean Chili with Cilantro Pesto
from Vegan Planet

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/3 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
One 6-oz can tomato paste
One 14.5-oz can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 cups cooked or two 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup Cilantro Pesto (recipe follows)

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic. Cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, water, and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Add the lemon juice and beans and simmer for about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Just before serving, swirl in the pesto.

Serves 6

Cilantro Pesto

1 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup raw almonds (I used cashews)
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Combine the cilantro, almonds, garlic, and salt in a food processor and process until smooth. With the machine running, add the olive oil through the feed tube and process into a smooth paste. Store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator with a thin layer of olive oil on top to prevent discoloration.

Makes about 1 cup (hmm, not hardly, but enough for the chili)


  1. LOVE the idea of cilantro pesto!
    Thanks for leaving a comment on my daring bakers blog: I'm impressed you are commenting on all the daring bakers!!!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. This recipe is wonderful and the cilantro pesto makes it even more delicious! We made a batch of corn bread and it was the perfect vegan meal! Thanks for sharing!