CILANTRO

Coriandrum satirum

Native from southern Europe to India, cilantro is now a key ingredient in ethnic foods of both hemispheres.  I used to have a hard time enjoying cilantro; I found its taste a bit soapy, but growing it has changed my mind, or should I say tastebuds?  From the moment I open the seed packet and sniff, I start dreaming about cilantro in my salad, salsa, and soup.  Its scent is intoxicating, and I love harvesting it for that reason.  To keep cilantro fresh, either wrap it in a damp towel or place it upright in a bit of water (like flowers or basil) and refrigerate.  It can also be frozen by placing fresh leaves in a ziplock bag and removing the air.  Don’t thaw it before use.

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Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

From Asparagus to Zucchini

2/3 cup (6oz) lime juice
3 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt
2/3 cup packed cilantro leaves
2-4 dashes hot pepper sauce
1 tbsp cumin
1/4 cup canola oil

Place all ingredients except the oil in a blender.  Turn on blender.  Add oil very slowly through the “hole” in the middle.  Use a little water if you lose the hole, but just enough to keep the little hole so the oil will get blended.  Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

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Poached Eggs in Cilantro Parsley Butter
From From Asparagus to Zucchini

4 eggs
3 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Fill a wide, shallow pot with enough water to come at least 4 inches up its sides.  Bring water to a full boil.  Turn off the heat and carefully crack eggs, one at a time, into the hot water, keeping eggs separate from each other as much as possible.  Cover pot and set a timer for 3 minutes.  Meanwhile, fill a shallow pan with a couple inches of cold water.  After the 3 minutes are up, use a slotted spoon to carefully transfer each egg to the cold water.  When eggs are cool remove them with a spatuala to a cutting surface.  Trim off any ragged edges from the eggs with a paring knife. (Eggs may be held in the refrigerator at this point until a few minutes before you want to serve them.)  To finish: Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat; add herbs and cook briefly.  Adjust heat to low, add eggs, and heat through, basting them with the herb butter.  Serve immediately with toast.  Makes 2 servings.

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