How to Grow Cilantro

comments (5) August 4th, 2008

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Pungent and pretty, cilantro is found in both culinary and ornamental gardens. Here, the author picks new green leaves for a lively salsa verde.
Homegrown cilantro makes great salsa.
Thin seedlings to 12 in. apart when true leaves appear. Once established, cilantro resents being moved.
Pungent and pretty, cilantro is found in both culinary and ornamental gardens. Here, the author picks new green leaves for a lively salsa verde.Click To Enlarge

Pungent and pretty, cilantro is found in both culinary and ornamental gardens. Here, the author picks new green leaves for a lively salsa verde.

Photo: Cary Hazelgrove

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Coriander seeds burst with flavor

Cilantro’s shiny seeds resemble small green peppercorns. The clean, strong citrus taste of the unripened seeds is a natural breath freshener. Sprinkle them over salads, poached salmon, or grilled fish for a surprising burst of flavor. The seeds—known as coriander—ripen to a toasty brown, mellowing in flavor. They are renowned for their bittersweet bite in spice blends and baked goods, and I always add them to homemade chicken and beef stock.

Harvest the coriander seeds before they dry out in the hot sun by hanging the long stems of the plant upside down in a paper bag in a dark, well-ventilated room. The seeds will fall off their stems when shaken. They should be stored in an airtight jar because weevils are fond of them.

Cilantro bolting   Cilantro bolted
Its propensity to bolt makes cilantro tricky to grow, but oh, what a sight once the warm weather hits. When the plant elongates and feathery foliage appears, flowers and seeds will soon follow. Make the best of bolted cilantro by collecting its seeds. Ground coriander is a prized flavor in many international cuisines. 

Cilantro in perpetuity
  Cilantro in the kitchen
Cooking with Cilantro

Cilantro recipes
Grilled Fish with Cilantro Rub
Cilantro Salsa Verde
Potatoes with Cilantro and Garlic-Liime Butter
   
Once cilantro has made a home for itself in your garden, it willingly reseeds, offering fragrance, flavor, and flowers. The perfumy orange-peel essence of coriander seeds has international appeal. The seeds flavor European pastries and breads, liqueurs, gin, and middle-eastern coffee. They are an essential ingredient in Indian curry pastes and powders, southwestern chili powder blends, and pickling spices. And through the centuries, coriander has been renowned as an aphrodisiac. But does anyone need yet another reason to grow this intriguing herb?

by Lucinda Hutson
April 1997
from issue #8

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posted in: herbs, cilantro

Comments (5)

Eritacey writes: Greeny scenerio
Posted: 4:31 am on August 11th
VaneelaCharon writes: One of the best article
Posted: 1:44 am on May 25th
LaverneKones writes: Extraordinary data for gardening workers:)
Posted: 2:40 am on February 12th
TracyPoren writes: Great post
Posted: 3:27 am on February 11th
AliceFulter writes: Great info for gardeners
Posted: 6:05 am on January 26th
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