We made a last-minute decision to spend the weekend in Lake Tahoe. With some leftover vegetables and grilled chicken to get through, I picked cilantro from the garden to tossed together a quick (warm or cold) pasta salad.
Cilantro is an ideal springtime superfood. Its remarkable components have shown the potential to help promote detoxification, reduce high blood sugar, and lower levels of cholesterol. Health benefits aside, this light and tangy vinaigrette is delicious paired with a salad and versatile enough to use as a marinade or a sauce for pasta, poultry, steak, shrimp, firm fish (like tuna), eggs, or roasted/steamed vegetables. (Really, anything.) For a quick dinner, we placed raw spinach, tomatoes, chopped carrots, bell peppers, corn, and grilled chicken in a bowl, topped it with hot gemelli, and tossed everything with the vinaigrette. The heat from the pasta will wilt the vegetables and soak up the dressing.
I know there are legions of cilantro haters. I’ve heard it called the “most loathsome garnish of our time.” Dramatic, I think, because I adore the herb. Even if you don’t enjoy cilantro as much as I do, I hope you’ll give this a try. You will be surprised how refreshing this flavorful, slightly sweet dressing tastes. It’s springtime in a bowl!
Simply mix the following ingredients:
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp agave nectar or honey
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 jalapeno, diced and seeded (optional)
Leftover dressing will keep refrigerated for up to a week.