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Update on Cilantro and More Recipes

My blog on November 22, 2016 introduced Cilantro (Coriander sativum) as the International Herb of the Year for 2017.

An update I wanted to make you aware of is that the Richter’s Seed Company ( 2017 Herb and Vegetable Catalogue lists two new Cilantro varieties that are worthwhile looking into.

Coriander sativum ‘Calypso’ is “the first true cilantro to grow back after cutting. It will re-grow at least 3 times, so the need for repeated re-seeding is reduced considerably. It’s a breeding breakthrough from Britain that we think will have a big impact on home gardens and on commercial production. Compared to the industry standard (‘Santo’) it is 12-21 days slower to bolt. This means it will produce more fresh foliage per plant than any other variety”.

Coriander sativum ‘Rani” is “an outstanding Israeli variety developed to resist bolting in hot summer weather. The foliage is glossy and medium green with good flavor. It’s highly productive, producing upwards of 20 tons of fresh cilantro per hectare (8 tons/acre). Although this variety was meant for commercial growers, it does equally well in home gardens”.

These two new varieties are of interest to us in North Texas because it means less labor, more leaves for cooking - and we may be able to grow our salsa ingredients (tomatoes and cilantro) together! Oh, and by the way, it’s time now to sow Cilantro seeds in the garden. If you are new to seed sowing, or just want a refresher, read the September 10, 2016 blog.

If you are a Cilantro lover like I am, here are a few more recipes I’d like to share with you:

Cilantro-Lime Marinade

2 cups packed fresh Cilantro leaves/stems 1/2 cup fresh Lime Juice

1/3 cup Olive Oil 8 cloves Garlic

1 Anaheim Chili Pepper, seeded 1-1/2 tsp Salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Reserve 1/2 cup marinade to use as a serving sauce if desired. Spoon marinade over steak or large cut vegetables; cover and chill for 2-3 hours. Grill steak or vegetables over a medium-high grill that has been seasoned with oil to resist sticking.

Makes 1 cup of marinade

Cilantro Salad

8 cups mixed Baby Greens 1/2 cup chopped fresh Cilantro

1/4 cup Olive Oil 2 Tablespoons fresh Lime Juice

1 Tblsp grated fresh Ginger Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix greens and cilantro in a large serving bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve. Mix olive oil, lime juice and grated ginger in a small bowl and wisk to blend thoroughly. When ready to serve, salt and pepper greens to taste and then toss with enough dressing to lightly coat.

Serves 4

Cilantro-Scallion Bread

2 tsp dry Yeast 1/2 cup warm Water

1 tsp Sugar 2 cups Flour

4 Tblsp Unsalted Butter, cubed 1 Egg plus 1 Yolk

1 tsp Salt 1 tsp Sugar

1-1/4 cup Scallions 1/2 cup fresh Cilantro

1/2 cup Sesame Seeds 1 Tblsp Black Sesame Seeds

Put yeast in warm water with sugar and let stand until the mixture begins to bubble (this can take up to 10 minutes). Place flour and butter in the bowl of a stand mixture and mix until it resembles coarse meal. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, salt and sugar and yeast mixture, scraping down the side occasionally. Knead on medium speed until the dough is soft and smooth (about 5 minutes). Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).

Combine the scallions and cilantro in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Stir in the white and black sesame seeds and olive oil and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll dough into a 9” x 18” rectangle. Spoon the scallion-cilantro mixture evenly over the dough to the corners. Working from one short edge, roll the rectangle into a cylinder. Slice the cylinder into 3/4” slices and place on baking sheet. Brush the bread with 3 Tblsp Olive Oil. Bake until golden brown about 30 minutes. Serve right out of the oven.

Makes 12


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