Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mmm . . .Cilantro . . .mmm

Nothing says summer like fresh herbs and salad--which is exactly what came in my first CSA box. Actually, it was a lot of salad. As in five heads. Half our box. The other half was spinach and cilantro. There were also a few onions, some celery, rhubarb, and garlic scapes. Most of the lettuce I gifted to some neighbors since there is no way our family could eat five heads in one week. Well, we could try but we'd probably make ourselves sick. (Salad shooter, anyone? Sorry. It's an old joke that Husband's family used to tell.) Most of the spinach I froze because I use it in everything from meatloaf to spaghetti to omelets. The rhubarb got made into freezer jam (which was so simple it was like falling off a horse. That was a bad analogy. Quick, somebody call the analogy police!). The onions and celery I just stuck in the fridge. There were only a few scapes so I figured I'd just use them like regular garlic.

That left the cilantro. A lot of cilantro. Between what I harvested from our own herb garden and the pile we got in our box I had a large mixing bowl full of the fragrant greens. Calling!

I am not so good in the kitchen. I don't so much cook as I experiment. So, is a must for me. I love their website but, truth to be told, I have a hard time telling a good recipe from a bad one. I am also willing to eat any number of new foods--as long as they involve lots of veggies. Cilantro, me, and are a match made in heaven (or spirit prison, depending on how you feel about cilantro). Anyway, I found a couple recipes I liked: Cilantro Lime Dressing and Cilantro Pesto. My whole family liked the dressing, except for Number 1 who categorically hates cilantro. The pesto was a toss up. I enjoyed it, as did Number 2 and Number 3. The baby actually had two helpings. But Husband did not. And of course, Number 1 categorically hates cilantro so you can guess what she had to say.

I bring all this up for two reasons. 1)To give you all relief from the pity party I've been holding for my poor, hormonal self. 2) Because it made me happy! Honestly, I was surprised how much the kitchen activity lifted my spirits. Maybe it was just the energy of the chopping and rinsing or maybe all the good herby smells (anyone else read this article about pot and depression?), but I felt better. So who knows. Maybe the next time you're feeling down spend some time "experimenting" (or actually cooking, if you are that good!)in the kitchen. It just might help--especially if you use chocolate!


Heathie said...

Salad shooter is still funny! I laughed the second I read the phrase.
I love being in the kitchen. I'm not a fantastic chef, but I like to cook, and I even like to clean the kitchen (though, honestly it doesn't get done often enough). I think scrubbing dishes and counters is a good release for bad energy. And I usually feel like the mess was part of the reason for the bad energy in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I used to feel better just reading an herb book--anything wholesome makes you feel better, kind of a 'back to nature' thing. I'm sure with those organic veggies there's a lot of "good vibes."
Have you ever tried drying excess herbs? You can tie them in small bundles and hang them in a warm, dry, preferably dark place.

I don't remember what was so funny about saying "salad shooter," except for the way it was said. You had to say it the way they did in the movie (Benny and Joon). I'm guessing Jeremy says it with the right inflection!

Heathie, I agree that cleaning creates good energy!

SilverRain said...

I admire your courage in getting CSA. I would love to do the same, but I'm so picky, I'm afraid of what I'd get. Cilantro, for example. I can't stand the flavor. What on earth would I do with cilantro besides use it for compost?

Those scapes look like jolly fun, though.

Laura said...

Silverrain--you should try the CSA, although if you do be sure to order a small share. Since we are a family of five I figured we'd need the family share. Maybe not. Oh and if you get something you don't like most CSA's have a trade box where you can swap out your veggies.

Mary lou--we didn't have time to dry them and I don't think we have a dry dark place. Unless you count the garage but that might make them stink . . .It is a good idea though.

Heathie--you can come to my house and clean my kitchen any time :)

Anonymous said...

Im gonna reveal myself as a nonindulger but big believer in the herb (wink) and depression.

so glad to see you perked up a bit.

perhaps I need to visit my kitchen more often!


Anonymous said...

I love cilantro, I find myself feeling better with any type of accomplishment.....putting together a dinner, yard work anything. Nice post.

Lura said...

I LOVE cilantro! :)

Angie Wilson said...

Cilantro is FANTASTIC!
Here is my all time favorite lunch (yes...I eat this for lunch):

*couple chopped fresh tomatos
*couple tablespoons chopped onion
*chopped fresh jalapeno (as much as you can handle)
*chopped cilantro
lemon juice, lime juice, and salt....

scoop it up with tortilla chips....
I could eat that for breakfast, lunch and dinner...Mmmm :)

Laura said...

Next time I get a surplus of cilantro I now know who to share it with!

Jer said...

Hey thanks for the cilantro recipe ideas! I'm definitely going to try the dressing, it sounds yummy! Also, you don't absolutely need a dark, dry place to dry herbs. I do it from my kitchen ceiling all the time. Although my kitchen is sunny, our climate here is definitely dry, so they do fine. Though honestly, I think cilantro lends itself more to freezing--just stick it on a cookie sheet and put it in your freezer. Once it's frozen, put it in baggies and then you can just grab whatever you need for recipes straight from the freezer.

Sorry this is so long!

Anonymous said...

I just had some "killer" cilantro this weekend...your post inspired my need for some. Thanks!