A Christmas Miracle (Or: How I Found the Only Sauce You Will Ever Need to Make, Ever Again)

24 Dec

On Thursday, BF Kef and I did a little Christmas celebration–dinner, wine, and gifts. This was a plan semi-doomed from the jump: I was tied up until 5, then had to scoop up fresh ingredients at the grocery store, fight week-before-Christmas traffic to get back to my house on the other side of the city, and THEN I had to make a delicious, nutritious, festive  dinner for us, plus whip up last post’s Gluten-Free Orange Cheesecake for our  trip to his parents’ house the next day.  Oh, and did I mention it had to be portable?

BF Kef just moved into a beautiful new apartment, with two beautiful features: a brand new oven and a brand new DISHWASHER.  This is huge for your girl Chef Kef because I am the kind of person who will invite 17 people over for 3 courses, then expect the dishes to lick themselves clean, sprout legs, and pull themselves out of my teeny-tiny sink. Thus, I decided that I would not only trek across the city in Christmas lights (of the red brake variety) and then spend 2 hours making the delicious treats from the grocery-store forage, but then I would transport them 15 blocks from my house to his house in said holiday traffic, enjoy them with my manfriend, and then do my dishes at his house.  This left me feeling a little bit like this:
NB: This is not me. Chef Kefi would never wear a cowl neck.
This whole thing results in four (yes, FOUR!) Christmas miracles: 1) Everything went exactly as planned–cake looked good, dinner was made, and I suffered only a small burn to the right forearm; 2) BF Kef and I enjoyed a truly lovely pre-Christmas meal, he loved my gift to him, and I am sporting some very thoughtfully-chosen new earrings; 3) BF Kef got up at 5:45 the next morning to do the dishes (thanks boo!); and 4) I HAVE FOUND THE ONLY SAUCE YOU EVER NEED TO MAKE EVER AGAIN.  All of these made me feel like this:
Actually, there were TWO lobsters present at the birth of Christ.
This sauce is quick, cheap, and delicious– you can use it for fish, vegetables, or pasta, and would be perfect for dinner parties of 12 or as a lunch treat for 1. Can you tell I’m obsessed with this suace?  It comes to us from Bon Appetit Thanksgiving 2011.  Enjoy!
Pumpkin Seed and Cilantro Pesto


  • 2 1/2 teaspoons tsp. plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/2 cup (firmly packed) cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked coriander seeds
  • 1/2 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lime juice


1. Heat 1 1/2 tsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pumpkin seeds; sauté until beginning to brown and pop, about 2 minutes. Transfer seeds to paper towels to drain; let cool. Reserve skillet. 


2. Pulse 6 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds, cilantro, coriander seeds, and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
3. With machine running, gradually add 1 Tbsp. lime juice, 1/4 cup oil, then 1/4 cup water, blending until coarse purée forms. Season pesto to taste with salt, pepper, and more lime juice, if desired.

One Response to “A Christmas Miracle (Or: How I Found the Only Sauce You Will Ever Need to Make, Ever Again)”


  1. Kale Feta Pesto | Cooking Up Kefi - June 3, 2014

    […] out what to do with all that iron-heavy produce. I remembered this delicious and so, so easy cilantro pesto and decided to see if I could make it even greener without expending very much effort. Done and […]

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