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Tag Archives: Cilantro

Black Bean Salad with Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette

Black Bean Corn Salad with Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette

Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers, Avocado

and  Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette 

2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained

3 ears fresh cooked corn, kernels cut off the cob

2 red bell peppers, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons minced shallots, from one medium shallot

2 teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons sugar

9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, best quality such as Colavita

1 teaspoon lime zest (be sure to zest limes before juicing them)

6 tablespoons fresh lime juice

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish

2 Haas avocados, chopped 


Combine all ingredients except for avocados in a large bowl and mix well.  Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight.  Right before serving, add avocados and mix gently, being careful not to mash avocados.  Garnish with more chopped cilantro, if desired.

Serve at room temperature. 

Servings: 6-8


Cream of Cilantro Soup

Cream of Cilantro Shooters

½ cup butter

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

1 medium onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

1 shallot, chopped

½ cup all-purpose flour

4 (14 ½ ounce) cans chicken broth

1 bay leaf

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 cups whipping cream

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese 


Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat; add ¼ cup chopped cilantro, onion, and next 5 ingredients.  Cook, stirring constantly, 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. 

Stir in flour, and cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, 7 minutes or until mixture is golden brown. 

Add chicken broth, stirring rapidly until blended; add bay leaf.  Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. 

Stir in pepper and whipping cream; cook 5 minutes. 

Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding vegetables. 

Add shredded Monterey Jack cheese and remaining ¼ cup chopped cilantro. 

Pour soup into individual serving bowls. 

Yield: 2 quarts


Picture by Starla

Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas with Cilantro Cream Sauce

Spinach Mushroom Enchiladas with Cilantro Cream Sauce 

Cilantro Cream Sauce: 

3 cups heavy whipping cream

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt

3 cups chopped cilantro leaves (about 1 bunch)

5 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 5 teaspoons cold water 

Mix together the cream, cayenne, salt, cilantro and the dissolved cornstarch in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat.   Cook and stir until thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.

spinach mushroom enchiladas sign (2) 


1 teaspoon butter

½ large onion, diced

8 ounces fresh button mushrooms, stemmed and quartered

20 ounces frozen chopped spinach, cooked

½ cup stale bread crumbs

1 teaspoon white pepper

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon chili powder

1 egg

coarse salt

2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided

10 flour tortillas 

 Preheat the oven to 350F.  Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and mushrooms, and sauté until the onions are transparent.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Squeeze the excess water out of the cooked spinach.  Place the spinach, bread crumbs, white pepper, nutmeg, chili powder and egg in a food processor and pulse until blended thoroughly; season with salt.  Transfer the spinach mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the reserved onion-mushroom mixture and 1 cup of the cheese.  Spoon about ¼ cup of the filling onto each flour tortilla, roll up and place seam side down in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  Pour the Cilantro Cream Sauce evenly over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes or until brown and bubbly. 

Note:  For a special presentation, line the center of the tortillas with fresh spinach leaves before filling and rolling them and garnish with *Spicy Sauce.

Adapted from “Peace Meals”

*Spicy Sauce 

1 large tomato, finely chopped

½ cup finely chopped onion

2 canned jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

¼ cup tomato juice

½ teaspoon salt 

Combine all ingredients; stir well.  Chill until serving time.  Yield 1 cup


Pictures by Linda and Starla

April Dallas County Master Gardener Meeting

 Nothing short of a tornado should keep you from the April 25 Master Gardener meeting at the Earth-Kind Water Wise Demonstration Garden, 2311 Joe Field Rd. , Dallas. 

Blue Iris and Earth Kind Roses at the Demonstration Garden

Not only is the Garden in full, best of April, boisterous bloom.  But Linda  tested Mexican recipes for months to perfect a lunch menu using our home grown cilantro that will leave you weak in the knees: Cream of Cilantro Soup; Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas with Cilantro Cream Sauce; Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers, Avocado and Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette; Spicy Salsa; and Mexican Chocolate Cake with Praline Frosting. 

Cilantro Growing In Raised Bed At The Demonstration Garden

What would lunch be without a Plant Sale? Master Jardineros will sell 4-inch, quart, and gallon plants for rock bottom prices.  Plants include: lyre leaf sage, artemesia, Victoria blue salvia, stick verbena, Indigo Spires salvia, Star sedum, fall asters, blackberries, Blue Gamma grass, tall pink “Chi Chi” Ruelia, white and purple Hyacinth bean, and compost.  Check or cash only, please. 

Note: Please bring your own folding chair.  The meeting begins at 11:30.  Gina Woods a fellow Master Gardener will be presenting a program on Tillandsias and Bermulaids .  She will be bringing plants to show and sell.


Cilantro Peach Cobbler

Our Cilantro menu will include a cilantro flavored ‘dessert’ recipe.  It may be the most surprising use of cilantro.  A sweet treat with just a taste of “earthiness”.  (I used frozen peaches, for now, but come summer the locally fresh, ripe ones will be put to good use).  

Cilantro Peach Cobler

Cilantro in a dessert recipe may sound a little weird but the flavor is actually very subtle.  It’s based on a traditional, sticky-sweet Southern cobbler.


½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 ½ tablespoons minced cilantro leaves

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup milk

4 cups (about 1 ½ pounds) peeled, sliced ripe peaches

Garnish: Heavy cream or vanilla ice cream (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees;  put the butter in a 9-inch square baking pan and let butter melt in the oven.

Whisk together  cilantro leaves, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.  Whisk in milk until smooth.  Pour over melted butter;  do not stir.  Distribute peaches over batter.

Bake for 1 hour, until top is golden and set.  Serve warm or at room temperature, plain or with cream or ice cream.

Yield:  6 to 8 servings

Adapted from ‘Desserts from an Herb Garden’


The Case for Cilantro

Ina Garten (aka the Barefoot Contessa) says she despises it.  Others say the taste reminds them of dirty dishwater.  Some claim a soapy taste when they chew on it.  How could it be, then, that guacamole wouldn’t make it to a true “TexMex” table without a hefty amount of cilantro mixed in?  And salsa without cilantro?  Not in TEXAS! While there are clearly two sides, the “lovers” and the “haters”, consider these facts before arriving at your own verdict.


Cilantro, Coriandrum sativum, a member of the Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) family has been cultivated as a medicinal and culinary herb for more than three thousand years.  Mentioned first in Egyptian papyri and the Bible, Spanish conquistadors introduced cilantro to Mexico and South America where it quickly became associated with that cuisine.  Also known as Chinese parsley, the herb has a long history in Chinese medicine and cuisine.  One of the ancient uses was as an aphrodisiac.

Cilantro Growing in Raised Bed, Demonstration Garden Joe Field Rd, Dallas

Growing It

Cilantro likes loose, rich, well-draining soil.  Sow seeds in the fall ½” deep, thin seedlings to 1 foot apart.  Plant seeds again in February to give your cilantro time to grow before it gets too hot. If you can find it,  choose variety “Long Standing” for its excellent flavor, improved leafiness and, as the name infers, its slow-to-bolt quality. 

Cilantro  needs full sun and occasional watering if the weather is dry.  Transplants can be put in the ground anytime throughout the fall and winter.  A succession of crops will help your cilantro last longer.  To harvest cilantro, cut the stems down to the ground, a small section at a time.  When cilantro gets ready to flower, it sends up leaves that are lacier and smaller.  The seeds of the cilantro plant are known as coriander.   An aromatic spice, try using coriander in sweets, cakes, breads, and to flavor liqueurs.

Cooking With Cilantro

Every part of the plant is edible.  Cilantro’s  flat and gently serrated dark green leaves, resembling Italian parsley, are best used when the plant is about 6 inches high, and they must always be used fresh.  Toss them into almost any salad.  You can use cilantro anytime you would use parsley.  Make a pesto out of it just as would basil and freeze it for future use.  Store a bunch of cilantro for about a week in the refrigerator in a jar of water loosely covered with a plastic bag.  (Remember to change the water every few days.) 

Enjoy It 

The flowers make an attractive bouquet or addition to other garden flowers for cut arrangements.   Use it to settle the stomach and encourage good digestion.  Or do as the Chinese, use it in a “love potion” which they believed led to a long life.   While true, its unique aroma and pungence often demand an acquired taste, once you acquire the taste for it cilantro can be addicting!  Finally, just be thankful that when summer tomatoes and peppers are beginning to ripen  and cilantro may no longer be found in the garden, a quick trip to the grocery always keeps it within reach.   Case solved!


Note:  Over the next few weeks we will be sharing some of our favorite “cilantro” recipes with you.

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