Great recipes featuring bright, fresh cilantro, from a vodka-cucumber cooler to herb-flecked corn fritters.
Food & Wine
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According to Jamie Boudreau, a good aperitif often hints at the meal that will follow. This light, summery cilantro-spiked drink—which Boudreau likes to mix with a eucalyptus-infused simple syrup—would be a great lead-up to Mexican food.
When Earnest Sewn denim designer and spirits aficionado Scott Morrison throws a party at his Catskills house, guests hang out at his custom-built bar, drink inventive cocktails and sample Manhattan chef Sue Torres' delicious Mexican dishes, like this pico de gallo loaded with fresh cilantro.
Thai cooks typically serve meat already sliced so it's easier to eat. Here, Andy Ricker tosses pieces of soy-marinated flank steak with fresh mint, cilantro and roasted rice powder. The powder, a thickener in Thai curries, adds a fun crunch but is optional.
Cilantro stems get in the act in this recipe; they’re pureed with the leaves, jalapeños, garlic, fish sauce, and sesame oil to make a flavorful coating for grilled chicken. The dipping sauce, which also contains cilantro, is a classic Thai sweet-and-sour sauce.
At La Biznaga, Fernando López Velarde creates untraditional dishes that nod to local flavors. Here, for instance, he grills salmon until the fish is crackling-crisp, then tops it with a wonderfully bright pesto he makes with cilantro—a staple of Mexican cuisine—in place of the usual basil.
The citrusy dressing on this Caribbean-inspired hearts of palm salad is marvelously dense with fresh cilantro, shallots, lemon juice and honey. The oranges here release juice as they sit, so be sure to serve the salad right after you make it.
Cilantro-Flecked Corn Fritters with Chile-Mint Sauce
These delicate and slightly sweet fritters from Devi Garh palace-hotel are deliciously flecked with cilantro leaves and held together simply by the starch in the corn. A dusting of flour just before they're pan-fried gives them a light, crisp crust. For a richer flavor, cook the fritters in unsalted butter instead of vegetable oil.
Garlicky, spicy and bright with lime, this noodle dish is both warming and energizing, according to Thai tradition. Just don't skimp on the lime wedges or cilantro: "The sour juice protects the respiratory system in the early spring," Su-Mei Yu says, "and cilantro helps when you're congested."