Cilantro is a tasty herb beloved by chefs and home cooks alike. However, it suffers from an identity crisis as many think it is related to coriander and doesn't have the classically aromatic smell or taste. But don't worry, the bad reputation is undeserved! Cilantro can add a nice freshness that food sometimes lacks.
Nowadays, we seem to be finding a new love for cilantro and trying our hand with this intriguing herb in the kitchen. Cilantro is a prevalent culinary herb that offers International appeal. The flat parsley-like leaves are excellent in guacamole, cilantro rice, salsa, and other Mexican recipes.
Cilantro is easy to grow from seed and doesn't take long to start producing shoots. It takes only 3-4 weeks from the 9me the seeds are planted before you can enjoy this versatile culinary treasure.
Like most herbs, cilantro is like a spot in plenty of sunshine, with some afternoon shade in warmer climates. It prefers moist, well-drained soil.
Cilantro can bolt (or sets seeds) in hot weather. Therefore, reseed your garden or container with new seeds every 2 or 3 weeks to extend harvests throughout the growing season. This will ensure a steady supply of fresh cilantro leaves all season.
Tips for Using Cilantro
Harvest the leafy stems almost to ground level. Leave ⅔ of it intact, giving it time to regenerate before harvesting again. This herb best shines when added at the end of a dish (think cilantro rice) or in cold dishes like guacamole.
Cilantro's flavor is most potent when fresh but only lasts a briefly when cut. Dip the stems in water for a better quality and shelf life, and keep them on your counter for about a week. However, you can extend its life by 3-4 weeks for buy placing the jar in the refrigerator with a clear bag loosely over the leaves on top.
When your herbs peak, you can use them all up in no time flat. Freeze cilantro to preserve your herb garden haul for the long term. Add chopped cilantro into ice cube trays, cover with olive oil, and freeze. While dried cilantro is less potent than its fresh counterpart, you'll still receive some delicious results when cooking or baking with these cubes!