Cilantro, my love.

These Parsi-style scrambled eggs are what I like to call a “Jimmy Dish.”  It’s just what my man loves: golden-yolked, farm-fresh eggs, jalapeno, a dash of dairy, and lots and lots of cilantro.  He found the recipe in Saveur magazine a few days after I got laid up with a bad back. I could tell by the look on his face that cilantro was involved. My boyfriend is obsessed with the herb.

Not that I don’t share his enthusiasm; you won’t catch me in the “anti-cilantro community.” I love the pungent quality of its delicate leaves.  Cilantro’s bright, citrusy taste reminds me a bit of fennel without too much distinct licorice flavor.  I love cilantro.  Always have.  And I guess I’m a tad bitter that, when Jim came into my life, he laid claim to it.  I had thought I loved cilantro just as much—no, more!—than the average Joe.  And, since I’d spent more time in Southern California than most of my New Jersey friends, I thought I was entitled to be cilantro’s #1.  But no.  Jimmy thinks he’s a hot rock because he spent a whole year in Southern California shooting meth and—more importantly—eating burrito after burrito just teeming with cilantro.

Well, big whoop.  I’m here tonight to reclaim cilantro with these eggs.  Even if Jim found the recipe first.  And even though he actually cooked these eggs while I took pictures—the green guy’s mine.

So, now that that’s established, let me take a deep breath and tell you about the eggs.  Jalapeno gives enough heat to snap at your tongue every few bites while the eggs and cream keep that heat in check.  Roma tomatoes allow for this to be made year-round, and you won’t even notice their lack of flavor.  And the cilantro, well, I think you’ve learned that I have strong feelings there.  The cilantro adds a brightness, it practically shines through the yellow eggs.

We like to mix in the cilantro stems, finely minced, while we are whisking the eggs and cream together.  The stems are a bit juicer and more flavorful than the leaves, and using them in cooking is a wonderful trick I learned from fellow-cilantro addict Jamie Oliver.  And that guy knows his herbs.

These are great for breakfast, but I like them for dinner with a big pull of multi-grain bread.  And, of course, lots of cilantro on the side.

Parsi-style Scrambled Eggs

(with ungodly amounts of cilantro)

serves 2-3 hungry people or 4-6 as part of a spread

adapted from Saveur Magazine, Issue #114

  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 serrano or jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 1⁄2 cup 1 bunch chopped cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Melt 3 tbsp. butter in a 12″ nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add chiles and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften and brown lightly, about 3 minutes. Add remaining butter and tomatoes; cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes release their juices, about 6 minutes.

Add eggs, cilantro stems, cream, and kosher salt. Reduce heat to medium and slowly cook the eggs, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until soft curds form and the eggs just set, about 6 minutes.

Transfer eggs to a platter. Sprinkle remaining cilantro over eggs and serve hot, with toast.