People are always asking me, “How do you come up with your recipes?” When someone asks me this, I laugh, because most passionate cooks always have a huge pile of recipes they’re planning to try someday. This recipe is one that had been on my pile for years, torn out of a magazine I’ve long forgotten the name of.
The recipe was from East Bay Crab and Grill in Egg Harbor, New Jersey. At the restaurant they serve it as an appetizer to dip up with hot, freshly-baked bread. (If anyone knows if the place is still there, or has tried this appetizer, please chime in with a comment.) I ate mine on toasted 100% whole wheat pita chips, and it was fantastic. Since there’s a big football game coming up tomorrow and I’m wondering about what to take the the Denny Superbowl party, I thought about this recipe again and realized it definitely deserved to be a recipe favorite.
(Makes about 2/3 – 1 cup, depending on how big your bunch of cilantro is. Recipe from East Bay Crab and Grill, slightly adapted by Kalyn.)
1 large bunch of cilantro, 4-6 oz.
2-3 green onions, cut into pieces
1 T red wine vinegar (or slightly more)
1 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice (or slightly more)
2 T olive oil (or slightly more)
2 T water
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce or more, to taste (I used Green Tabasco sauce)
salt to taste
Remove tough stems from cilantro. Rinse cilantro and drain but do not spin dry. In food processor with steel blade, pulse together cilantro and green onions until well chopped. Transfer mixture to small mixing bowl.
Stir in vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, water, hot pepper sauce, and salt. Taste for seasoning, and if using a large bunch of cilantro, add more seasonings as desired. Serve immediately with toasted pita chips, or refrigerate up to 2 days. (For non South Beach dieters, this can also be served with hot french bread or corn chips.)
Toasted Pita Chips:
Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut 100% whole wheat pita bread in half, then cut each half circle into three triangles. Mist with olive oil. Arrange in single layer on cookie sheet and toast in oven about 5 minutes per side, or until slightly crisped and barely starting to brown. (They quickly go from toasted to overly done, so watch them carefully and check often.) Pita chips don’t keep well, so only make what you’ll be eating.
With 100% whole wheat pita, toasted or not, this is a perfect appetizer for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. For those who love cilantro, I think this would also make a great sauce for fish or chicken, or would taste great stirred into bean salads, rice, or hummus.More Cilantro Dips, Salsas, or Pestos