Dear Cilantro, its me, Dora.

Tom sent me this article on cilantro and I’ve narrowed down his motives to one of three.

1. He hates cilantro and thought he’d forward the sentiment.
2. He knows I love cilantro and thought I’d get riled up.
3. He hoped I’d notice the “Portuguese use it by the fist fulls” line.

[Tom is editing this, and, it was number 3.]

I can’t vouch for all Portuguese people, but, I know that I always have coentro somewhere in the house, or growing in the yard (along with parsley and tomatoes).

I love cilantro. Really, really love. I don’t understand how people don’t. And, in honor of the “fist fulls” my people use in their food, I’m linking a couple decent cilantro recipes here. I do warn you though: my mother doesn’t really believe in measuring. Most adding of ingredients is done by how feisty she’s feeling.

If you decide to use any of these recipes, do it the traditional Portuguese way, throw caution to the wind and go with what your inner chef tells you, not necessarily the numbers on the page!

Portuguese potato and cilantro soup — did I mention we love potatoes, too?

Alentejano bread soup– only for people who don’t mind soggy, bready soup. I definitely feel this one is an acquired taste.

Cuento fava beans– fava beans are another acquired taste.

Portuguese clams– to make it more Portuguese, make sure you use Portuguese chorico (chorizo is Spanish!), skip the bacon, and try a nice Portuguese padinha (a special fluffy roll) toasted with butter on the side rather than an Italian loaf. Also, add a few teaspoons of paprika- we love making seafood stews red!

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4 Responses

  1. I’m with you Dora, cilantro is awesome. Tom just dislikes herbs in general. When I make tomato sauce for pasta he tells me “can you not put any green things in it?” Like you can have a tomato sauce without basil and oregano and parsley.

  2. For the record, I like cilantro a lot. It doesn’t fall in my parsley/oregano hated group.

  3. Hahaha.. Seriously Tom, it’s impossible to make tomato sauce without the green stuff! I am glad to hear that you do like cilantro, though 🙂 Found this guacamole recipe (aptly called “Perfect guacamole”) with cilantro: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/perfect_guacamole/

  4. Cilantro is great! Guacamole is just limey avocado paste without it, and putting it into a tomato-based soup before you eat it adds a lot of character to the flavor.

    I had never noticed the Portuguese affinity for cilantro. I don’t recall my mother ever using it before I brought some home to make my guacamole, and even now she’ll only use it when I have some leftover from the last batch of guac I made.

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