Saturday, July 30, 2011

Nick`s Birthday Party

Today we had Nick`s birthday party at a pizza restaurant in Norwich. Its called Iliano`s and they make great pizza. Every one who came seemed to have good time. I bought a cake to bring and every one sang Happy Birthday to Nick. 
His birthday was the end of June, but we weren`t home for his birhtday we were in Virginia. So I sent out invitations for the pizza party.
I always used to have his party at home, but this is a lot less work and it actually cost a bit less I believe. (And more relaxing too.)
Today I`d like to share a little information on my next herb on the list.
Todays herb of choice is Cilantro.
An annual or biennial herb (Coriandrun sativum), of the Parsley Family, grown for it's aromatic seeds which are used for flavoring liquors and confections. The plants, which grow about 2 feet high, are cultivated in rows about 18 inches apart, generally from seed sown in early spring. The seed heads which ripen about midsummer are gathered and dried, then beaten with light rods or flails to spearate the seeds.
The leaves are most commonly referred to as cilantro and have a much different taste from the seeds, one that is similar to parsley with a dash of citrus flavor. 
Cilantro / Coriander is known to attract bees, butterflies or birds, has fragrant blossoms and aromatic foliage. Cilantro / Coriander self-sows freely; remove flowers (deadhead) if you do not want volunteer seedlings the following season.

Cilantro Pesto 
Annie says: A little of this bright green sauce goes a long way. Spicy and piquant, it's delicious served with grilled vegetables or on Mexican Pizza. (page 180 from this same book). For fresh chile flavor, add a green jalapeno or serrano chile and omit the cayenne. Walnuts are a fine substitution for the pine nuts.
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
1 scallion, white and green parts, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1 Tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
1.5 teaspoons fresh lemon or lime juice
1 lightly packed cup cilantro sprigs with short stems
1 lightly packed cup parsley sprigs, large stems removed
salt and cayenne pepper

Combine everything but the salt and cayenne in a food processor or blender. Add 1/8 teaspoon salt and a few pinches cayenne pepper; puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and cayenne.
Have a great day!
And As Always
Keep It Clean!

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