Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cilantro Solutions

So, I got a lot of great ideas from friends on FB for different ideas for ways I can make use of all this cilantro.

A few of the more inventive suggestions included:

"It makes a fun festive add at the bottom of vases! I used rosemary in centerpieces for a bridal shower this weekend."
- Deepa Varughese

"Chop it up, add to ice cube trays, top off with water to add to soups in the winter."
- Jayna Elam

Though I'm sooo not in the mood to be thinking about winter, I thought the ice cube thing was a great idea; it would be really pretty.  I enjoy the smell of rosemary so, I love the idea of using herbs as a part of centerpieces too.  That one gets the "Most Martha Stewart-like" award.  

My aunt also shared a link to a "five star vegetarian version" of Pho Noodle Soup that calls for cilantro amongst many, many other ingredients.  She said she's "addicted" to this soup from a vietnamese restaurant near her home in Grapevine, TX.  Since I can't exactly hop in my car and have lunch with her (though I so wish I could just beam myself there Star Trek style), I'll just have to search out something closer to me.  

For the time being, my solution for the overgrown cilantro tree is baba ghanoush!  I posted a recipe for it after I had it for the first time at a friend's birthday.  I just substituted cilantro for parsley (and instead of "2 Tbls" added about 1/2 cup!) and voila!  It's the freakin' bomb.

This week at the grocery store, I purchased garlic infused olive oil and decided to take that and my hurbs and put them to good use.

I took about two cups of baby carrots and cut each carrot lengthwise into about four pieces (some of the larger babies got a few more chops).  I tossed my carrots in a frying pan with about a tablespoon of the garlic infused olive oil and let them cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the carrots were tender.  While the carrots simmered, I put about 1/4 cup fresh rosemary, sea salt (about 1/4 tsp.) and black pepper (to taste) into my food processor and chopped them until the pieces became very fine.  I then sprinkled the carrots with this mixture and allowed them to cook the rest of the way.

The baba ghanoush was a nice compliment to the carrots.

This carrot side was super quick, easy, and bursting with fresh flavors.  It was a slam dunk with my husband and a great way to make use of some of the beautiful growth I have sitting on my back patio.

Happy Herbing,

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