(Very) Spicy Cilantro Concentrate

I love cooking Mexican cuisine. The flavors are crisp and vibrant, and the cuisine really lends itself to vegetarianism, i.e., it’s cheap. It also lends itself well to my other half’s favorite ingredient – cilantro. The only problem being, of course, that we only shop once every two weeks and cilantro can go off really quickly. So, baring cooking with it three days in a row, I usually end up with half a bundle of slimy and limp leaves by the time I get around to using it.

My solution? Cilantro concentrate. Just beware – this recipe really packs a punch. If you’re not a fan of heat, I highly recommend omitting the chilies. Also, remember that with concentrate, a little goes a long way so while the end result might appear minute, it really will go farther than you think.

Cilantro Concentrate

3 cups semi-loosely packed or 1 bunch cilantro

3/4 cup loosely packed mint

2 chilies, sliced

1 lime, juice & zest

2 small cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp oil

1) Wash dirt from cilantro and mint. The easiest way is simply to fill a bowl with water, place your herbs in the water, slosh it around a tiny bit and then just let it sit. The dirt and grit will sink to the bottom. Then, just scoop the herbs out and let them drip dry.

2) Combine ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. If the ingredients seem to be having a hard time blending, add a little water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time. The ingredients will seem like they won’t ever come together and then, like magic, they’ll start to break down, trust me.

It’s that simple. I use this concentrate not only with Mexican cuisine but it goes really well with Asian and Indian, also. Enjoy!

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