27 Mar 2014
The relatively wet and mild spring has made my cilantro and parsley grow like crazy, and then the few sunny days that reached almost 80· was like Mother Nature shouting “Bolt! Bolt now!” with a megaphone.
Once the cilantro bolts, it basically stops making leaves and starts making flowers. You can retard the bolting by cutting off the flower spikes, but here the plant will still eventually peter out. I enjoy collecting and drying my own coriander seeds so I want to allow the plants to eventually complete their flowering cycle, but not before I get some more leaves. As soon as my summer culantro is transplanted out, I’ll let the plants flower and set seed.
We are reducing our grain consumption again. Dear husband’s blood sugar has been creeping up again and so far the primal diet has been the most effective at reducing his blood sugar and keeping his weight stable. When we’re eating mostly vegetables, I use fresh herb sauces and condiments constantly. They add big flavor to simple dishes, and they can be used as flavor bases to more complex dishes. Indian fresh herb chutneys have no oil, unlike pesto, but they have a short shelf-life. A batch will only last about a week in the fridge, and will spoil quickly if left out.
Use by the spoonful on roasted vegetables, over eggs or plain chicken. Mix with yogurt or sour cream and drizzle over potatoes, cauliflower, and shrimp. You can also replace part of the cilantro with parsley.
4 c cilantro, packed
1″ fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 green chile, minced
1 heaping tsp ground cumin
salt & pepper
Get out a sturdy blender or food processor. Chop the cilantro. Combine everything except the lemon in the food processor. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice out of the whole lemon into the mixture. Blend, adding water by the tablespoon if necessary, until the mixture is a smooth paste. Taste. The salty/sour/spicy should be bright and balanced. Adjust the salt and lemon juice. I ended up using quite a bit of salt (over a teaspoon) and 1 1/2 lemons.