Looking for a use for those cilantro (or coriander) stems? Look no further! The stems have so much flavor, that it’s really a shame to throw them away. Often they’re not used in restaurants because they’re not as beautiful as the leaves, but they’re certainly just as tasty. If you want to use the stems up in a salsa or other dish, just mince them finely, along with the leaves, and nobody will even notice!
Or you can blend them up into a sauce! You can do the same with parsley stems. This recipe below uses cilantro or coriander stems, depending on where you’re from. You bought the stems and leaves, so you might as well use them!
Roasted Poblano Crema
Yields: 2 ½ cups
- 2 Poblano peppers
- ½ cup heavy cream or dairy substitute (optional)*
- ½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ¼ red onion
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ bunch cilantro with stems (about 8-10 sprigs)
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
Roast the Poblano peppers on a baking sheet at 425°F. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until a few spots on the peppers become charred. You can turn them once while roasting. They will blister, which is normal. Remove from oven and place in bowl with plate covering them. This will steam the peppers and make the skins easier to remove.
Once cooled, carefully remove the stems and seeds. You can slice down the middle of the peppers and run under cool water to remove the rest of the seeds. Now rough chop the peppers.
Slice the onion and mince the garlic. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Then add the onions and cook until they’re translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the chicken broth and heavy cream*. (If not using cream or a dairy substitute, add ½ cup of broth or water.) Bring to a low boil, and cook for 4 to 5 more minutes. (Alternatively you can add the onion and garlic into the blender in their raw from, with the liquid ingredients and the roasted peppers. This will save some cooking time. The taste will be sharper, and still delicious. The cooking the method just mellows out the flavors.)
Rough chop the cilantro leaves and stems.
Use an immersion blender or pour all ingredients into a regular blender. Season with salt, pepper, and cumin. You can squeeze a tablespoon or two of lime juice into the sauce if you’d like. Blend to combine. Adjust ingredients to your taste.
Enjoy on tacos, enchiladas, roasted vegetables, chicken, lamb, fish or beef. It’s great with rice too!