Summer Cilantro Salad

Today is the beginning of Summer for us. It always starts with a bang because we have 3 birthdays within a 3 week period (Elliot is 13, Jim turns 50!!! and Grandpa turns 87). We are having a party with all of Elliot’s friends this afternoon.

We have been working on a Farm Stay for quite a while now. As funds allow, we have been working on it in sections. It is going to be quite a sweet space with enough room for 6. We should start to offer it up for farm stay visits within the next few weeks! A beautiful deck on the front is going on this week, and all the lights go in next week. It will be completely off-grid, so it will be the perfect place to come and unplug for a lovely stay in the country. And of course, all visitors will get to join in on one of our functions up at the Mill (A Tasting, Farm Tour, Vanilla Luncheon Experience, or Upcountry Tea). We can’t wait for you to visit!

You can see in the photos some of our plots where we grow all of the greens we serve at the Mill, plus a ton of cilantro, which I had to use because it was going to seed. I was so happy to find this recipe.

This Summer Cilantro Salad I served 3 times last week, and Isaac actually picked every last piece of cilantro from the bowl–yes, it’s that good. I got it from the very first blog I started following, 101 Cookbooks–it’s a lovely site so make sure to check it out. Of course I doctored the recipe up a bit with vanilla and loved the results.

  • 1/2 Cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 4 Cups cilantro, leaves and stems (but not thick, tough stems)
  • 1 pound asparagus, stemmed and sliced thinly
  • 1/4 Cup Shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 1/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Cup peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons sesame seeds (I used a mix of black and white)

In a heavy bottomed pan sauté onion and garlic in olive oil using the lowest heat and a cover to allow the onions to sweat. Allow to cook for 15- 20 minutes, until the onions are very soft and the oil fragrant. Pull off the heat and allow to cool.

Blanch the asparagus: bring a medium sauce pan of water to boil and blanch the asparagus for about 30 seconds. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again and place in the bowl you will be serving the salad in.

Trim the tough stems from your cilantro, wash and dry thoroughly. Add to the asparagus. Toss in peanuts and sesame seeds.

In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, combine shoyu, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Add your onion, garlic and oil to your salad. Then add your shoyu mixture. Toss gently.

**Make sure when you are serving to stir up the bottom of the bowl because the asparagus and peanuts like to hang out down there!


xovoxo, (vanilla hugs & kisses) Tracy Reddekopp


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