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April 2012 Post Produce: Cilantro!

My Post Produce post this month celebrates cilantro! I’ve used quite a bit of fresh cilantro from my small kitchen garden this spring, most of it in guacamole. Cilantro is a very hardy annual. The plant has a short lifecycle, dying out two-to-three months after it sprouts. However, if it sprouts late and fails to mature before winter, cilantro is one of the first food plants to get moving during the spring thaw.

The seasons are a mess this year… but in kind of a good way for a kitchen gardener. Last year, I still hadn’t planted cool weather crops by late April because my garden was mud. This year, the soil has been nearly dry to the full depth of the tines on my garden fork. Peas are more than two inches tall, cauliflower and broccoli seedlings have clearly taken, lettuce may be ready to harvest within the week, onion sets are popping, and my first ever planting of pok choi has sprouted. Best of all: I’ve harvested!

Cilantro I planted late last year wintered beautifully. It is growing vigorously and has flavored several batches of guacamole and a few skillets of southwestern-style home fried potatoes. Tarragon is also doing well: beckoning me to make béarnaise sauce which I’ll do within the week.

Cilantro is the Topic

Forget the tarragon. Avocados have been crazy inexpensive this winter: TEN CENTS apiece! With fresh cilantro coming on while avocados are cheap, I’ve made quite a bit of guacamole. Here are my most intimate personal thoughts about guacamole:

  • Sure, it’s a great accompaniment to many Tex-Mex dishes.
  • It freezes well. Make vats of it while avocados are inexpensive and freeze it for later. If you like tomato in your guacamole, add fresh homegrown tomatoes when you thaw the guacamole to eat.
  • It makes a great sandwich spread in place of mayonnaise… and it’s better for you than mayonnaise.
  • It goes great on home fried potatoes—particularly if the potatoes are peppery and/or laced with cayenne.
  • It’s hit-or-miss with egg-based dishes. For example, I’ve had omelets with guacamole that weren’t particularly yummy, and other omelets with guacamole that were pretty awesome. I wish I could provide guidance here, but I haven’t kept track of what worked (sorry). The last bad one I remember was a Velveeta and Guac omelet; never go there. Last good one wasn’t an omelet. It was peppery home fries with eggs cooked on top, sunny-side-up, and a few dollops of guacamole.

A generous serving of guacamole contains way less fat and more vitamins than a comparable serving of mayonnaise (which I hope no one would eat in a single meal).

Visit the article I wrote that shows how I make guacamole.

Post Your Produce

I’m thrilled to be harvesting any food from my garden, meager though it may be. By May’s Post Produce, it seems likely we’ll be eating fresh garden lettuce and pok choi. In any case, please share your produce: What are you eating that grew in your garden? Are you still working on last year’s preserves? Post about them. Are you harvesting something awesome now? Share!

Once your blog post is up, return here and use the Linky below to link to your post. Leave a comment as well, if you like.

That’s all there is to it. Thanks for stopping in on this seventh Post Produce event!

4 Responses to “April 2012 Post Produce: Cilantro!”

  • Hi Daniel! My photo looks quite similar to yours, but different umbelliferous plant. Good luck with your spring plantings.

  • Jennie:

    Yum, I love guacamole! It definitely does make an excellent sandwich spread – that’s one of my favorite ways to use it. I wish avocados were that cheap here!

  • Sheryl:

    Jennie, I agree. I was impressed with the cilantro and want to grow my own BUT 10 cents an avacado?!? That’s news!

  • I think it’s wonderful that you grow your own food. It is something I am looking to do once I get a place with a garden (I live in the centre of London so never gonna happen whilst I am still here), I am sure you get great satisfaction in just popping out in to the garden to get the ingredients for your guacamole!

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