Cilantro is an herb that is available year-round in most markets which can add great flavor to your dishes, without adding any fat, calories, or sodium! It has a distinctive, pungent flavor and is often used in Mexican and Asian cooking.
Growing and Choosing Cilantro
Cilantro can easily be grown from seed in a garden or even in a container. Whether you are growing cilantro or purchasing at your local market, choose cilantro with no signs of wilting or discoloration. You may want to give it a sniff to ensure its identity, since it can be easily confused with flat-leaf parsley!
What is the Best Way to Store Cilantro?
To store cilantro, place the cut ends in a jar of water and cover the leaves loosely with a plastic bag, then place in the refrigerator where it should keep for about 2 weeks. Rinse the cilantro just before using.
What is the difference between Cilantro and Coriander?
Cilantro refers to the leaves of the cilantro plant. Interestingly, the seeds of the cilantro plant are called coriander, and have a completely different flavor, described as sweet and warm, and are typically used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. Because of their different flavors, you wouldn’t want to substitute coriander for cilantro, or visa versa, in recipes.
What the best way to use Cilantro?
There are many great ways to use cilantro to flavor dishes. But if you are looking for an easy way to use fresh cilantro, why not try this simple recipe for fresh Pico de Gallo?
- 4 plum tomatoes or 2 regular tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 jalapeno, finely chopped (seed the jalapeno for less heat, if desired)
- ½ red onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- juice of one lime, or to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a medium sized bowl, mix ingredients thoroughly. Chill for at least an hour to let the flavors marry prior to serving.