Cooking with Herbs – All About Cilantro

People say that when it comes to cilantro you either love it or hate it. I love it, but my husband does not, so when I’m cooking with cilantro ,I sometimes use it as a condiment or topping on the side. Sometimes I’ll substitute flat leaf parsley in a recipe that calls for cilantro so I can share with my better half.

Learn about cooking with cilantro, how to grow and harvest this fragrant herb and ideas about ways to deal with those who do not like it.

People say that when it comes to cilantro you either love it or hate it. I love it but my husband does not, so I use it as a condiment or topping on the side. Sometimes I’ll substitute flat leaf parsley in a recipe that calls for cilantro so I can share with my better half.

Growing CilantroCilantro Stats

Cilantro is a cool season crop. Although there are some varieties that claim they are slow to “bolt,” this herbs is best grown in the spring or early fall. If you insist on growing it during the hotter months, place it someplace where it will get shade from the hot afternoon sun. Once  your cilantro starts to flower, you will notice that it no longer looks the same–and it won’t taste good either. However, if you want to, you can let it go to seed and harvest the seeds which are called “coriander,” which you can grind up and use in many Asian and Latin dishes. I love it in my chili.

Harvesting Cilantro

Harvest your cilantro by cutting ¾ of the stems leaving ¼ to encourage new growth. Cutting often may help the plant from bolting (starting to flower quickly) and going to seed.

Preserving Cilantro

Cilantro does not dry well. The best way to preserve it is to freeze it. Chop it up and place it into ice cube trays with a little olive oil or water. Once froze you can pop out the cubes and place them in a plastic bag and back into the freezer. This way you can easily grab one or two when you need them.

Cooking with Cilantro

Cilantro is very floral, which is a quality I love, but some say it tastes like soap. I guess I can see that, but when cooking with cilantro you also get that unique floral scent which adds a depth of flavor I appreciate.  This is another great add-in to top your chili, tacos, eggs, soups and even salads.  Cilantro pairs well with lime juice and makes a great vinaigrette. Just use a blender or food processor to blend the cilantro with lime juice and some olive oil. Use the leftovers from your tacos or fajita dinner to make quesadillas for lunch. You can always add a little fresh cilantro to spruce up the flavor.

Recipes

Here are two of my go-to recipes that use cilantro.

Homemade Fresh Salsa

Black Bean Salad

 

 

 

About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Garden Matter, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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Comments

  1. I just love cilantro. I grow it and use it in anything I think I can. I think next to Basil, it is my favorite spice.
    Bev

  2. Love cilantro in mexican dishes but also in chicken salads. Not sure why, but I like that taste with chicken.

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