During a recent trip to a Neo-Hegelian Hearth Cooking convention held in fabulous Las Vegas, I was honored to give the keynote speech to tens of convention goers hoping I could diffuse the great cilantro controversy in time for my fellow culinary knuckleheads to attend the Ten P.M. Joey Heatherton and Lola Falana show across the strip at the MGM.
Upon graduating in the upper four-fifths of my class, I achieved my Doctorate in Cilantro at the prestigious Huguenot Balloon Falls Culinary Academy, just before the great fire of 1977 destroyed all of my records. So I found it necessary to highlight my speech with a few historical facts about this ancient herb.
I pointed out in my remarks, using an overhead projector as a visual aid, that coriander seeds had been found in ancient Egyptian tombs along with jewelry, goblets and Tupperware. The Chinese used these seeds later to preserve meat. The Romans fused the seeds to dice, using them as numbers. They then used the dice to shoot craps under the bleachers during breaks between gladiator fights at the Coliseum. I later was forced to turn the projector off when a Venezuelan chef making shadow rabbits and obscene gestures proved to be a distraction to the audience and my speech.
The herb is known by other names throughout the world. Kothamille in some parts of Central America, Dhuma in India and in the Middle East, Urda Ianni Zuerit, which loosely translated, means Blue-Eyed Monkey Leaves. Whatever the case, if it is labeled Coriander, Cilantro or Chinese Parsley, the fact remains that above all, it’s tasty. I love it, my Mom likes it, though she can’t pronounce it, she calls it “Chilantro”, even my dog Shep likes it.
Cilantro is a good garnish, it is indispensable in salsas and it can even jazz up a couple of old stand-by recipes.
- 2 Cups Fresh Cilantro
- ½ Cup Macadamia Nuts
- ¼ Cup Red Onion
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- Salt/Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1Combine all ingredients except olive oil and salt/pepper in a food processor.
- 2Pulse until mixed adding a slow steady stream of olive oil while pulsing.
- 3Season with salt and pepper, chill. Great with shrimp cocktail or over noodles.