Using up the Herbs
Some of my Weekend Herb Blogging comrades who were kind enough to comment on the avocado and cilantro salad noted that as wonderful as cilantro is, there is all too brief an interval between lush and verdant leafiness, and some truly revolting slime. If you buy a bunch of herbs and use a half dozen sprigs or so in a recipe, the only thing for it is to have in mind a strategy for using the rest of the bunch within a day or so. I frequently use one or more bunches of herbs in soups, but that is because I make some big pots of soup. For situations in which the time and refrigerator space for a big soup project is lacking, I can suggest a small-scale recipe that uses piles of herbs and provides, as Jeeves would say, uniform satisfaction.
Tonight I prepared a recipe called Persian Herb Pie from Viana La Place’s exquisite and indispensable book The Unplugged Kitchen. The recipe calls for one cup each (about one bunch each) minced parsley and cilantro, and a half cup each “slivered” lettuce and snipped chives. You beat six eggs, and mix in the minced herbs, two minced garlic cloves, and salt and pepper. Pour the eggs into a hot skillet or baking pan with some olive oil and bake in a moderate oven for about twenty minutes or until set.
This time, I made the Persian Herb Pie with all my remaining herbs from the week, which added up to ½ cup each dill and parsley, one cup cilantro, 3 garlic cloves, and no lettuce or chives. It’s a forgiving recipe as long as the egg-to-herb ratio is about right and the herbs include at least some parsley. This pie is deeply satisfying and vividly herbal.
Herb enthusiasts will also want to try La Place’s Eggs Stuffed with Herbs and Nasturtiums, Purslane Salad, and really, just about every other recipe in this book.