I love cilantro. I only had it for the first time about 10-15 years ago, and I now cannot imagine not having it in my life. Yes, I love it that much. It is so fresh and bright, and almost refreshing. I love using it in Mexican and Asian dishes, and pair it often with ingredients like lime, jalapenos, peppers, tomatoes, as well as in marinades for beef, chicken, or shrimp.
So when I made this Chipotle and Citrus Grilled Pork Tenderloin, I immediately knew I wanted a side dish that used a lot of cilantro. I decided on rice, and went in search of ideas. I ended up using this recipe for Mexican Green Cilantro Rice from the blog Girl Cooks World.
Cilantro mellows a lot when it is cooked/heated, so you definitely need other flavors to add some of the brightness back. I chose lime juice and garlic. This ended up being a creamy and fresh rice dish with the perfect amount of flavor. Even with all of the cilantro used, it was not overwhelming. I would make this again, and feel it would work paired with a variety of proteins from chicken and pork to beef and shrimp.
The recipe below is my adaptation (amounts were changed, I added lime juice, and I slightly changed the cooking method. See the link above for the original recipe).
- 1/2 of a bunch of fresh cilantro plus some extra leaves for garnish
- 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter
- 1 sm white onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp chicken broth plus 2 1/4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup long grain rice
- Juice from 1/2 of a lime
- Salt and pepper
- Combine the cilantro and 2 tbsp broth; puree in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper .
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a pot. Add the onion and garlic; saute 2-3 minutes. Add the rice, toss until coated.
- Add the broth and cilantro puree and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until rice is done and the liquid has absorbed (about 20 minutes).
- Squeeze in the lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Each person can garnish their serving with additional cilantro if desired.