That is right, I am angry with cilantro. It was never a thorn in my side before my friend and former colleague Cate brought her “Mango Avocado Salsa” to my house years ago. I’ve been cursed with rotten cilantro ever since. You go out and buy fresh cilantro for one recipe that MUST have it, you use it and the remainder turns into a black bag of mush at the bottom of your fridge. Only to be sworn at later “I curse you cilantro!” Don’t worry, I have found a solution…
How to Dry Finicky Herbs!
1. Wash your cilantro well and use a salad spinner. The spinning part is key. The down fall to drying cilantro is mould that quickly grows.
2. Separate all of the leaves from the stems.
3. On a tray that you can keep out of the way, place some opened paper bags.
4. Spread the leaves out giving each one his own room, no touching or fighting.
5. If you have more left over, place some little glasses on your first tray then place some more opened paper bags on top and cover with the cilantro leaves.
6. Place this cilantro drying eyesore in a spot where it won’t be disturbed. It will only take a few days to dry. I cover mine with a lace net to keep it extra clean.
This usually fills up a jar for me and really keeps its flavor. You must put it in a container right away or it will turn to flavorless green leaves.
Here is the recipe that has brought me so much cilantro trouble over the years. I made it with the Boys and Girls Club and it was a real hit. It is also this month’s Snazzy Snacking recipe in the newsletter!!
(Please forgive me Cate, I have claimed it as my own!)
Michelle-y’s Magnificent Mango-Avocado Salsa
“Good to Knows”:
When choosing a mango, pick one that is plump and heavy for its size. Most importantly, the mango should be fragrant when held near your nose. If you’ll be using the mango right away, you will want to find a ripe one. Mangos are ripe when you can indent them slightly with your thumb. (Avoid mangos that are so ripe, they feel mushy, or mangos that have brown marks.)
A ripe avocado is relatively firm, but will yield to gentle pressure when held in the palm of the hand and squeezed. Color cannot always be trusted to determine whether or not an avocado is ripe. Indeed, the squeeze test is the most accurate.
To Buy/ Gather
1-2 cloves of garlic
3 ripe avocados and 1 ripe mango… This is a good mango to avocado ratio, if you are having a party and need to make lots, always add three avos to 1 mango).
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, use what you need and carefully dry the rest
Hot sauce, optional
Salt and pepper
1 big bag of tortilla chips
Cut open mangos and avos using the inside out method and add to a bowl
Grate or finely mince garlic into the bowl, I like to use a miniature box grater
Using a salad spinner or by hand, wash and dry cilantro and chop or tear 2 tablespoons or so and add to bowl
Add salt and pepper and if you are feeling quite brave add a splash of hot sauce.
Gently mix it all up according to if you like fine or chunky salsa
Eat with chips, munch munch munch.
Now, take your mango seed and avocado pit. The mango seed must be carefully opened by an adult. Wash both and place in a small vase of water to root. Once you have lots of roots, you can plant them in a pot with soil.
Now x 2, take the rest of the cilantro and separate the leaves from the stems, wash and dry them very well. Spread the leaves over the paper without over lapping and loosely cover with paper or a net to dry, then store in a jar for next time.
I can’t believe how much children delight at the flipping inside out of a mango or avocado!