Cilantro is a love or hate herb. There is rarely a middle ground found when people are talking about cilantro. Some, like myself, love its citrusy flavor and others swear it tastes like soap. Studies have been done that link the difference in taste to a genetic disposition. If you don’t like cilantro it might not be your fault. You might have just been born a cilantro hater. For you I can offer only condolences. For the lovers of cilantro how about some tips on how to store and eat cilantro?
I really like cilantro. Like I could put it on damn near anything. I always try to have a bunch on hand in the kitchen. My love for it is a kind of chicken or an egg situation. Do I like cilantro because I like Mexican food or do I like Mexican food because I like cilantro? Which came first? The more fresh-cut cilantro on my tacos or in my guacamole the better. In my opinion, a street style taco with meat, onion and cilantro doesn’t need anything else except maybe a squeeze of lime. The natural citrusy flavor of cilantro makes pairing it with lime a great combination. My new favorite use of this combo is coconut lime cilantro rice. It makes my mouth water just thinking about these dishes.
- Cilantro goes by many names such as Chinese parsley, dhania, and coriander.
- In North America the leaves of the herb are commonly referred to as cilantro and the fruit, or seeds are called coriander.
- The seeds have much more of a citrus flavor when crushed. You can purchased ground coriander or seeds in the spice section.
- Used largely in Asian and Latin American cooking.
- Frequently mistaken for curly leafed parsley.
Season: year round
Where to find it in the store: Found in the produce section it is typically sold in bunches. Some stores will have it prepackaged in bags or plastic cases though that is less common. I prefer to buy mine in bunches because I find it easier to store which means it lasts longer
What to look for when you buy: Bright green leaves that are not wilting, or browning.
How to store it: Treat your bunch of cilantro similar to a bouquet of flowers. Place the stems in a jar of water. For maximum shelf life cover the jar with a plastic bag and a rubber band and place in the fridge. I use mine fairly quickly so I skip the plastic bag step and have been able to store my bunches for just over a week in the fridge. If I know I will use it in a couple of days I just keep it on the counter. For best results change the water every couple of days.
If you do find cilantro in a plastic bag, or storing in a plastic bag is easier for you, you can keep it in a plastic bag in the fridge for a week.
When ready to use: Rinse the sprigs of cilantro with water and pat dry. Then, simply chop up as much as you need for the recipe. Both the stems and the leaves are edible. A whole sprig also works great as a garnish.
Links to some great recipes:
- Not just one but many from 101 Cookbooks
- Parmesan Cilantro corn from Real House Moms
- Cilantro Pesto, yes please! from Simply Whisked
- Cilantro-Lime Popcorn from Bake Your Day
Are you a lover or a hater of cilantro?0