By VICTOR E. SASSON
In the dead of winter, fresh herbs bring homemade dishes alive.
Last Saturday, I drove up to the new Whole Foods Market in Closter to see if I could use a coupon for $30 off on a purchase of $150 that expired that day.
As I walked around the store, I picked up a few things, including a generous bunch of organic cilantro ($1.99), one of my favorite herbs.
Cilantro is also known as Chinese parsley, and the dried seed is ground and sold as coriander.
The Closter Whole Foods doesn't sell wine, and I didn't think I could use a dozen cooked Dungeness Crabs, which were on sale for $9.99 a pound at the fish counter.
So, I ended up giving the coupon to a woman with a full shopping cart after the cashier estimated she had purchased more than $150.
We chatted briefly, and the woman said she knocks herself out buying organic food for her family, but her teenage son can't wait to go to a fast-food restaurant.
I've been using the chopped cilantro all week long, and finished it tonight, when I added it to plate of organic quinoa.
Fish from Iceland
I rely on Costco Wholesale in Teterboro for fresh wild-caught fish fillets from Iceland.
But rough winter weather has kept boats in port and disrupted the supply to retailers big and small, including The Fish Dock, a fresh-fish market in downtown Closter owned by Icelanders.
On Tuesday, the flounder I bought at Costco came from Canada, and there was no Icelandic cod or haddock in the refrigerated case.
On Wednesday night, I showered boneless-and-skinless flounder fillets with fresh chopped cilantro after poaching the fish in Roasted Salsa Verde, from Whole Foods Market; fresh lemon juice and crushed Aleppo pepper, below.
I showered the fish and other ingredients with fresh chopped cilantro before putting the pan into a preheated 400-degree oven. The flounder was ready in 15 minutes.
I used about a half-pound of organic spinach from Costco, drizzled with olive oil, in a large rectangular pan lined with parchment paper, then added the fish and other ingredients
|Fresh cilantro accenting a plate of leftover organic quinoa, which I prepared in an electric rice cooker with chicken broth, organic diced tomatoes and chopped fresh garlic.|
|For the frittata, pour the mixture of eggs, low-fat milk, grated cheese and cilantro into a 10-inch non-stick pan with olive oil over a medium flame. Add slices of plum tomatoes and more grated cheese.|
|When the crust sets, move the pan into the oven, using a low broiler setting, above.|
|After about 25 minutes, the frittata was ready. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh cilantro.|