Herbs and Spices: The Transformers – Cilantro and Chilies

CILANTRO is an ancient Asian herb that resembling flat-leafed parsley, but with a significantly more pungent and musky flavor. Cilantro is grown just like parsley: Buy a small seedling from your local nursery early in the growing season (from seed takes too long for most zones). Plant it in dry soil and full sun. Keep an eye on it when the weather gets hot or it bolts and become more or less.

CILANTRO andĀ AVOCADO SALSA with BALSAMIC VINEGAR

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes or more

To some, cilantro and/ or chilies are an acquired taste. This recipe calls for moderate amounts of each that everyone will agree is delightfully refreshing. Add more of either to suit your taste if so desired.

  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped white part
  • 1 large clove garlic, pressed
  • 1-4 oz. can skinned, mild green chilies, drained, rinsed, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro (or more to taste)
  • 4 medium ripe, red tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1 ripe, yet firm large avocado, skinned and diced
  • Salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste

In a medium bowl whisk together the balsamic, scallions and garlic until well combined. Add the chilies, cilantro and tomatoes. Combine well. Toss in the avocado and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and allow to sit for at least 1/2 an hour or more. Can be served at room temperature or chilled. Makes approximately 4 cups of salsa.

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