First of all, if you’re thinking that titles and pictures like these are what traditional publishing companies pay editors to nix before press time, let me just say that I couldn’t agree more, and I’m sorry about all of this. On the other hand, if you look closely, she really does seem to have a quizzical little expression on her face, doesn’t she?
This week we started by turning the cilantro and some of the garlic curls into a little multi-purpose sauce that we can use throughout the week. I had lots of extra cilantro left over from the weekend and wanted to be able to use the sauce a few times, so I actually made a triple batch; but one quantity made from the week’s cilantro would be enough for the potato salad recipe that follows or any one of the other suggested uses below. (My only concern is that a single batch may take some determination to remove from the blender.)
In case anyone else is wondering and didn’t catch it in the Harvest Identifiers, I embraced my agriculturally challenged status and asked Farmer Rich about how they grow garlic greens versus garlic curls (also called scapes). He said the greens grow up from softneck varieties of garlic and are the only part of those plants that we’ll see during the season. The scapes grow up from hardneck garlics, the bulbs of which will be harvested later.
1 small bunch cilantro
2 garlic curls, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Juice and zest of 1/2 lime
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
A few grinds of black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a mini food processor or a blender, with liquid ingredients on the bottom if using a blender. Process until well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides or push the cilantro down toward the blender blade with a rubber spatula if necessary.
Our first use for the cilantro sauce was this warm Cilantro Potato Salad. It would also make a nice sauce for seared scallops, sauteed shrimp, grilled or broiled salmon, white-fleshed fish, chicken or steak. Or you could serve it drizzled over raw tomatoes, or a tablespoonful mixed into your usual vinaigrette.
Warm Cilantro Potato Salad
1 bag Rote Erstling potatoes (1.75 lbs)
1 recipe Cilantro Sauce
Any one or more of the following:
1 shallot, minced or 1/4 cup red or sweet white onion, diced
1/2 cup diced celery
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1 cup blanched green beans
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
Wash the potatoes thoroughly. Halve the smaller ones and quarter any especially large ones. Put the potatoes in a medium pot with cold, salted water to cover by about an inch. (It’s important to start with cold water so that the potatoes cook through evenly.) Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat; then reduce the heat so that the water simmers gently for about 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender. Drain and return potatoes to the hot pot for a minute to dry them out a bit. Transfer the potatoes to a medium bowl and mix them with the cilantro sauce, along with all of the additional ingredients, while they are still hot.