A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Agave Syrup

 I have to thank Russell and Brittany for helping me understand agave syrup.  I knew it was around, and had even had drinks made with it, but its most important attribute hadn't really sunk in:  It is liquid at room temperature.  So, unlike honey and sugar, you can stir it into your salad dressing or whatever and it will blend right in--no crystals to dissolve, no thick, sluggish honey to coax into combining.

I found this quite perfect miso dressing on a blog called Savory Sweet Life.

Sesame Ginger Miso Dressing

1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
1 tablespoon agave syrup (or sugar)
1 tablespoon miso paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1" piece of ginger, peeled
1 clove garlic, peeled

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  Store in refrigerator.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Cilantro Pesto

Every once in a while one ends up with too much cilantro--a plant in the garden that's about to bolt, or several bunches in the refrigerator that didn't get used up as planned.  I have a couple of solutions to this problem:  the first is to make Aida Gabaldon's  Green Green Sauce, which I wrote about here; the second is to make cilantro pesto.  I tried out this recipe from Simply Scratch a few months ago and it was delicious, but I waited to write about it until I could see how it held up after being frozen.  I'm happy to report that when thawed it was jewel-bright, fragrant, and delicious.

Cilantro Pesto

1/2 cup blanched, slivered almonds, lightly toasted
2 bunches fresh cilantro, stems removed
3 tablespoons cotija or Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lime

In food processor, pulse almonds until finely chopped.  Add cilantro, cheese, garlic, salt, and lime juice and pulse until you have a coarse paste.

1/2 cup olive oil

With food processor running, slowly drizzle in olive until well mixed.  Store in refrigerator or freezer.
We ate this as an appetizer with pita chips, and also as a topping for broiled fish.