mardi, mai 01, 2007

Onions and Cilantro

Well, despite the fact that today was Mayday and I should've been out taking part in some labour-related protest (which is the tradition here), I was mostly hungover this morning, and thus missed out on the marches. I headed off to my local marché for some last-minute vegetables and fruits, and also picked up one of those delicious roasted chickens that are so easily edible here. I made fantastic warm chicken salad when I got home, upon which I grazed for pretty much the entire afternoon.

Since nothing else really happened that day (except for work and a phone meeting with folks back in Chicago), I'm including a recipe here. And since most people reading this blog probably know how to make a killer chicken salad, here's another recipe that I've been meaning to post. This is the "green" onion salsa that I made for my friend's brunch last Sunday. You see, growing up with a Peruvian mother, "salsa" to me always meant onions and something acidic; after that, tomatoes, (hot) peppers, corn, celery, beets, herbs, olives--all of those were optional. So, although this won't give you the chunky-tomato-style salsa that you might get in a grocery store in the states, it's certainly one of my favourite forms of salsa. Even if you're not a big fan of raw onions, this is worth a try once (and I've included some tips on how to mute the sharpness of the onions).

Onion-Cilantro Salsa, "Chimichurri"-style

[The ingredients for this salsa sort of approximate what you might put into a chimichurri sauce]


  • At least 2 large onions of any kind (sweet onions are nice, but even cheap cooking onions are good
  • A splash of some mild vinegar (cider, sherry, wine)
  • A lot of ground cumin (at least two tablespoons, more to taste)
  • The juice of a lime or lemon (or bitter orange)
  • TONS of cilantro (about two bunches), stemmed and chopped finely
  • A bit of olive oil


  1. Take the onions, peel them, and slice them into very thin half-rounds (or whatever cut you prefer; it just has to be thin).
  2. If the onions you have are too strong, salt heavily and put them in a collander or sieve while you prepare the coriander. Rinse with cold water to remove the salt.
  3. Add just enough of the vinegar to get the onions wet. Mix.
  4. Add cumin and lime/lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix.
  5. Add cilantro, chopped finely, and mix again. Add more olive oil if you want it to be glossier and thicker. Add more vinegar if it needs more bite, and more citrus if the cumin/cilantro is too heavy.
  6. Eat immediately or refrigerate till served

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