Thursday, February 02, 2006

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.



Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

This sounds absolutely amazing. There is a restaurant in Salt Lake that serves Persian food and one thing they have on the menu that intrigues me is something that is basically a big plate of different herbs, eaten as kind of a raw side dish with other foods. Right now I'm longing for my garden (which is buried under snow at the moment.)

12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Persian herb pie? Oh, wow! I like the sound of this and the suggestions for using up herbs. Much needed for me since many of the herbs I buy end up spoiling in the fridge. I had cilantro in the fridge and never got the chance to buy the avocado to try your recipe. I'm still planning on making it!


4:54 PM  
Blogger the chocolate doctor מרת שאקאלאד said...

kalyn, I had a very similar herb dish at an Afghan restaurant nearby--very refreshing.
paz, Best of luck with your futute herbal endeavors.

11:55 PM  

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