Sharing this space with many posts on photography, I got to thinking about what food and photography have in common. Like photography, recipes create a foreground and a background for the ingredients we use. Some flavours take centre stage, blurring other flavours into the background, creating subtle hues of colour, rendering them almost unidentifiable.
With this notion in mind, for this weekâ€™s post, I decided to pick an herb because herbs are usually only ever part of the background of most recipes. Herbs are like that friend who always has to find his own way to the bar, because â€œthe cab can only fit fourâ€ â€“ a nice guy, but if he doesnâ€™t make it into the meal, itâ€™s no big deal. But wait, has that guy been working out? He has this crazy, spicy, fresh-cut-grass kind of flavour that you never noticed before! You canâ€™t believe you havenâ€™t paid him more attention! And before you know it you are slow dancing with him at your high school prom to a song by The Cure.
So maybe this scenario only happens in John Hughes films, but for one herb, the Hollywood smoke and mirrors are going to be extinguished and broken. Today, one herb will emerge from his monotonous role as an â€œoptional ingredientâ€ to take centre stage. Today, Cilantro is getting to live out the dream of every herb to make out on the dance floor with the hottest girl in the room and take on the role of leading man. Today, Cilantro is in the foreground! Click, Click, Flash!
First, letâ€™s remember cilantro from one its lesser known roles in Guacamole. In this recipe, avocado dominates. Best known as a â€œgood fatâ€ because of its extremely high monounsaturated fat content ratio (bested only by the olive!), avocado helps increase our basal metabolic rate, thus preventing overeating. Eating an avocado is also the equivalent to eating three bananas because of the amount of potassium it contains. Guacamole is one of those recipes that you can make and leave cilantro out, but if you add it, you will be oh-so-glad that you did. The cilantro makes the difference between guac that transports you to a beach in Mexico and guac that youâ€™d eat at the airport.
GOOD OL’ GUACAMOLE
2 tbsp of lime juice (or juice from 1 lime)
2 tomatoes from a can (or fresh) chopped
1/4 chopped onion
1 scoop or clove of garlic
2 sprigs of cilantro (optional-just kidding!)
Mash together with a fork or put into blender.
Now that weâ€™ve recalled this oft-overlooked herb, itâ€™s time for cilantro to shine in the Honey Cilantro dressing. This dressing is punchy and memorable. Youâ€™ll be craving the smell of it for days after its gone. Why is this healthy? Because most dressings have an oil base, they can be fatty (albeit good fat), but this dressing is mostly herb straight from the earth. Too much â€œgood fatâ€ is bad, so pair your guacamole with this lighter dressing, showing off cilantroâ€™s amazing versatility to play any role your kitchen throws at it â€“ kind of like Steve Buscemi.
HONEY CILANTRO DRESSING
borrowed from Fresh Cookbook
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp peeled, chopped ginger root
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup filtered water
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp honey
Blend in blender. Keeps up to one week in the fridge.
This dressing is amazing on salad, but can also be used as a dip for veggies.
Why did the Cilantro go to jail? Because he stole the show.
Bah dum bum.