March (usually) means all things green: sprouts of green popping up from the ground, window boxes of beautiful and fragrant herbs, and the beginnings of fresh green grass filling lawns. Unfortunately, it’s still quite cold in New York – snow is even in the forecast for this weekend – so we haven’t seen the signs of spring just yet. But that didn’t stop me from taking part in this month’s Recipe ReDux. The challenge was to use any fresh green herb in a nontraditional way for this month’s theme:
Green with Herb Envy
I love using fresh herbs in my cooking, very often as a garnish. The problem is that you can’t just buy one or two sprigs of an herb, so inevitably I am left with a bunch of herbs and end up basing subsequent meals around them. One of my favorite herbs is cilantro. Some people find cilantro to have a “soapy” taste, but thankfully I don’t experience that. I have used cilantro in many dishes, including various salsas (nectarine, watermelon, corn and black bean), marinades, and grain-based salads. Occasionally I have used it when making eggs, which may not seem that unusual, but I wouldn’t say it’s the most traditional way to use this herb. Thyme goes well with eggs, so I figure why not use cilantro! Here’s one of my versions of a Mexican Frittata.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion sliced into half moons
- 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro divided
- 1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese divided
- 3 whole eggs
- 6 egg whites
- 1/3 cup non-fat milk
- 1 can 15 ounces no-salt added black beans
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 lime juiced
- 8 corn tortillas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8-9" round baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
Heat a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add olive oil and swirl to coat pan. Add onions and saute for 3-5 minutes until softened and starting to brown. Add sun-dried tomatoes to the onions and saute another 1-2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup cilantro and saute 1 minute until leaves are softened and fragrant. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of cheese on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spread vegetable mixture on top.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, black beans, 1/4 cup cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour egg mixture over vegetables in the baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until eggs are set and cheese is browned on top.
While the eggs are cooking, mash avocado with lime juice and a couple of pinches of Kosher salt. Add 2 tablespoons cilantro and mix well to combine.
Serve frittata with corn tortillas, a scoop of guacamole and a side salad.
What’s your favorite and/or unusual way to use herbs?