Friday, July 9, 2010

Isabel's Cilantro Sauce


I can garnish my heart out and still not get through a whole bunch of cilantro before it starts spoiling. Pesky cilantro and its short shelf life! I find myself composting bunches far more often than such a flavorful herb deserves. But since discovering this zesty and delicious cilantro sauce (which uses a substantial half cup of the stuff) I no longer have an excuse to be such a wastrel.

The recipe comes from a cookbook called Isabel's Cantina that I bought as a souvenir when I moved away from San Diego. The author wrote the recipes for the restaurant where I used to work, and while my motivations for purchase were sentimental, the book has become quite practical in the kitchen.

I altered Isabel's recipe a little by doubling the garlic and using a mellower apple cider vinegar in place of the red wine vinegar she calls for. The sauce turned out SO good this way, rich yet bright and spicy all at once.

I drizzled the sauce around a plate of brown rice, black beans and cheese with some fresh cherry tomatoes for a meal of exactly ten ingredients. Totally Killer.

Isabel's 4-Ingredient Cilantro Sauce
Total Kitchen Time: 5 minutes. Makes 1 cup.

1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
2 garlic cloves, grated
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Free Spice Blend
1/4 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients and salt in a food processor or blender and puree until mostly smooth.

6 comments:

  1. what kind of cheese do you use?

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  2. This is simple Monterey Jack cheese grated from a block. It's what I had around!

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  3. Yum, this cilantro sauce sounds kind of Cuban, but I guess it did come from a Latin Foods Cookbook. So that makes sense (smile). Yummerz!

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  4. this sounds so delicious! Have you (or anyone who's made it) tried to freeze it at all? How does it do?

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  5. I haven't tried freezing it, but I expect it would freeze well. I know you can freeze pesto without the cheese, and this is of somewhat similar ingredients and texture. :)

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  6. About your cilantro going bad before you can use it all. Cilantro is a plant and cant be stored in one of those plastic bags you get from the produce department. For years I've been using a mason jar from a store bought spaghetti sauce. When you get home from the store fill 1/4 way with tap water and place the whole bouquet of cilantro in it. It will thrive in the fridge afterall it is a plant. Mine last up to 2 months per bunch, if I dont use it first. I mostly use cilantro for tikka masala its excellent. Oh and guest will ask you "what is that" and when you tell them they will say "wow what a great idea why didnt i think of that". Happens all the time. It loolks cool and its just so functional.

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