By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

A week of happy food discoveries

I have discovered a new love: cilantro peanut sauce. It’s from a blog I found while looking up ways to use up an excess of cilantro that had been purchased for the usual tablespoon or two that so many recipes seem to call for.

They do not sell cilantro in two tablespoon increments.

There are all kinds of recipes for cilantro pesto, which sounds a little odd to me, although I may come around to exploring them one of these days.

The peanut sauce is called pesto, but is more like a stir-fry peanut sauce. It sounded more appealing, so I tried it and fell in love at first bite.

It is filled with fresh lime juice, possibly one of the most delicious flavors on earth. There is also freshly grated ginger. Both seem to go perfectly with peanut butter, for some reason, in a velvety sauce. Or it would be velvety, if I hadn’t used crunchy peanut butter. Also, there are lightly toasted peanuts tossed in.

The cilantro melds in, a subtle flavor among the others. It is divine. And since it used up only half the bunch of cilantro, I think I’m going to make a second batch to keep on hand in the fridge for quick stir-fry meals.

You can find the recipe at

It was one of a few happy discoveries this week. Another was sour cherry chocolate.

I’ve been preserving sour cherries, which give off an amazing amount of juice. I pour it off and use it for various things, like cherry liqueur.

Also, I drink hot chocolate most mornings — except in this hot weather, it’s been cold chocolate instead: half a spoonful of Equal Exchange’s bitter baking cocoa, a bit of stevia powder, water and a splash or two of homemade almond milk. Works well cold, although it doesn’t dissolve quite as well, so there’s a lot of mixing required. It’s worth it, though, to avoid heating up the kitchen any more than necessary. And even in the early morning, cool beverages are appealing in mid-summer, especially during a heat wave.

Replace a quarter to half the water with sour cherry juice and you have something a coffee shop could charge a lot of money for. It is delicious: rich, creamy, chocolately, cherry-flavored.

May all your summer meals be delicious.

Nicole Montesano can be reached at

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