If you ever need to buy cilantro for a recipe, you know that one bunch is usually way more than you need. Likewise, many people who planted cilantro in their gardens this spring are producing way more leaves than can be used to flavor burritos, salsa, or guacamole. Either way, most of us have found ourselves stuck with a bunch of cilantro. The answer at our house? Green Sauce!
The concept is similar to pesto: blend or chop the herb finely, add garlic and olive oil, and make a spread that is delicious on crackers, fresh bread, or pasta. My dad was first introduced to green sauce by his Italian sculpture friends who used way more olive oil and fewer total ingredients for a more pure cilantro flavor. The recipe below is a bit lower in fat and adds in a spark of lemon to cut the cilantro flavor a bit:
-1 cup finely chopped cilantro
-1 cup finely chopped parsley (substitute spinach if you’re trying to use all spring garden ingredients)
-1 small clove of garlic finely grated or minced (if you’re not a garlic lover, use raw garlic in moderation, then add more if you think you’d like to)
-3 T. cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
-2 T. plain yogurt (add more at the end if the final products is too fluffy and not spreadable)
-juice squeezed from 1/4 lemon
-salt to taste
My favorite way to eat green sauce is to take a fresh slice of baguette, spread it with a layer of mild white cheese like cream cheese or chèvre, and then spread green sauce on top.