Coriandre, masculine noun (le coriandre, du coriandre – one never says un coriandre or des coriandres) = coriander (UK Eng.), cilantro (US Eng.), (pronounced korrie-aan-dr, both rs in the back of your throat, slight stress on the first syllable).
A lot of French people (including me at one time, I have to say) put coriandre in the feminine, which it is not. I once lost a bet on this.
Coriandrum sativum is widely cultivated for its culinary and medicinal properties but it also grows wild all around the Mediterranean. The leaves, the root and the dried seeds are all used. It is good for the digestion.
My recipe for today is for saumon au four, pesto de coriandre = baked salmon with coriander (cilantro) sauce.
For 2 people you will need:
- 1 tbs slices spring onion greens
- 1 very small clove of garlic (don’t put too much or it completely masks the other flavours)
- 4 tbs roughly chopped coriander (cilantro) (stems and leaves)
- salt, pepper
- 4 tbs olive oil
- a large handful of pine nuts
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
- Peel and boil the potatoes. This will take 20 minutes from boiling point.
- Place a portion of salmon on each sheet of paper, salt very slightly, grind a little black pepper, and close the parcel. Add no butter or oil.
- Cook for 12 minutes in the hot oven.
- In the meantime, put the coriander, garlic, pine nuts, spring onion and olive oil, with a ¼tsp salt and 4 turns of the pepper mill, into a mini mixer and grind, pushing down the ingredients which stick to the sides, but leaving some texture. Not too pulpy in other words.
- Drain the potatoes, open the salmon packets, and run a knife between the fish and the skin (often the skin sticks to the paper a little and it is easy enough to leave the skin behind). With a fish slice or a spatula, transfer the salmon without its skin to individual serving plates.
- Cut the potatoes into chunks, spoon a little pesto over them and the fish, and garnish with sprouted seeds.
I cook a lot in little packets (papillottes), it is quick, clean and easy.
This pesto is also good on cold beef, pasta or rice, and as a basis for vinaigrette for salads (just thin it with a little vinegar). It will keep in a jar in the fridge for a couple of days.
I have to go away for a week or so, and I shall not be connected to internet. So try as I might to pre-publish posts, I have not been able to accomplish a week’s worth. My challenge is broken, too bad, I’m not too worried about that really. I’ll get going again in March when I’m back.