Seared Sea Scallops With Cilantro Gremolata and Pea Purée
Category: Main Dishes | Blog URL: http://www.tastefoodblog.com/tastefood/2009/05/coriander-on-my-mind.html
This recipe was entered in The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest, a compilation of the world’s best food blogs which was published in Fall 2010.
Photo: Lynda Balslev
You say cilantro, I say coriander. In the U.S. the leaves are called cilantro while the seeds are called coriander; in Europe the leaves are called coriander, while the seeds are called, er, coriander. Whatever your linguistic disposition, this is one herb the world apparently can't live without. Featured in the cuisines of the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Asia, coriander has a culinary history dating back to King Tut: the seeds were found in his tomb. Native to the Mediterranean, coriander was introduced to the Americas by the Europeans in the 1600's and has been growing like the dickens ever since, figuring prominently in American Southwestern, Mexican and Latin American cuisines.
Also known as Chinese Parsley, the entire coriander plant is edible, including its root. Its leaves and stems are best served fresh and used as a final addition to dishes, as the delicate leaves do not stand up well to cooking. Its seeds are the dried ripe fruit of the plant, frequently used whole for pickling and spicing, or toasted and finely ground into the dried spice known as coriander.
Coriander is an acquired taste for many, including myself, but now I can't get enough of it. Fortunately, in Northern California, the winters are mild, and I can grow coriander (or cilantro) in pots on my terrace year round. Presently we have an abundance, and I know just what I will do with it: This month I am participating in the GYO (Grow Your Own) event hosted by the Daily Tiffin blog. The concept is to create a recipe that features or uses something that has been growing in your garden - or pot, in my case. I will harvest whole bunches of the coriander before it flowers, and make a Gremolata which I will serve with Seared Scallops and Pea Purée.