Cilantro may be the most polarizing herb on the planet. There’s even a website, IHateCilantro.com, where members can share stories about their loathing of cilantro. There’s a biological explanation for some people’s strong aversion to this aromatic herb, which resembles flat-leaf parsley: While many people experience cilantro as fresh, grassy, and citrusy, some people’s taste buds seem to detect only the herb’s aldehyde chemicals—the same chemicals found in soap. If you’re among them and still want to try dishes with cilantro, try crushing the leaves and letting them stand for a while; this allows enzymes to break down the offensive aldehydes.
Barley is the best food source of beta glucan, a soluble fiber also found in oats that helps lower blood cholesterol; it also contains pectin, another soluble fiber. Here it serves as the base for a creamy side dish with a rather exotic flavor, thanks to the purée of scallions, ginger, cilantro, and garlic.
Move over, ketchup: This bright green Argentinian condiment spices up poultry, gives beef a kick, and augments your grilled vegetables or fish. Our version includes equal amounts of parsley and cilantro, along with plenty of garlic, red wine vinegar, lime juice, and a hint of cayenne pepper. Easily stored in the refrigerator, it’s a great dressing to have on hand.
This hearty and flavorful stew features cilantro along with other bold spices including onions, garlic, and chili powder. We use boneless dark-meat chicken (thighs), which is a better choice for stews than white meat because it stays moist and retains more of its flavor when cooked relatively slowly.
The fiery green salsa served with these salmon steaks pairs especially well with milder-flavored side dishes, like baked potatoes or brown rice. A serving tip: If you plan to remove the salmon skin, do so before you plate the salmon and spoon the salsa over it, so as not to sacrifice any of the delicious sauce.
Plenty of cilantro combines with bell peppers, jalapeños, and scallions to give this chili a lovely green hue. You may not recognize two of the more exotic-sounding ingredients in the recipe: Chayote is a pear-shaped squash with a mild flavor similar to other summer squash. Hominy is corn that’s soaked in an alkaline solution.