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Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/stone-soup/">jules:stonesoup</a> on Flickr
The Marconas add enough richness and body to this cilantro pesto that I leave out the cheese. The flavor of the almonds comes through better and the sauce tastes fresher and greener — an exciting accent to a bean soup or an omelet.

You can find salted, fried Marcona almonds, the flattish almonds from Spain, in many stores these days, but they’re not all great quality. Avoid overtoasted Marconas, which will be fairly dark, almost the color of a brown-paper bag, and oily, and choose nuts that are lightly tanned and just faintly glistening with oil.

The Marconas add enough richness and body to this sauce that I leave out the cheese. The flavor of the almonds comes through better and the sauce tastes fresher and greener — an exciting accent to a bean soup or an omelet.