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How I use herbs - coriander (or cilantro)

Its winter and coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is coming up in my garden.  Outside of the sub-tropics, coriander is a spring/summer annual, but it quickly bolts in hot weather, so it grows better here in winter.  This herbs is known by its Spanish name, cilantro, in the US (and obviously in countries that speak Spanish).  Coriander is an ancient herb and spice, that is used in cuisines as varied as Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Egyptian and Mediterranean.


eight acres: growing and using coriander (cilantro)



How I grow coriander
You can get coriander as seedlings, but I usually plant it from seed.  When it goes to seed in my garden, I scatter the seeds and they come up the next year.  I also throw a few extra saved seeds around the garden in early in winter, to make sure I get plenty of coriander.  It does grow better here in the colder months, and quickly bolts to seed when the weather warms up or if the soil dries out.  The flowers are popular with bees and other pollinators, also resulting in plenty of seeds for next year's crop and for use as a spice.


eight acres: growing and using coriander (cilantro)
This is my garden at the moment!


How I use coriander
Both the leaves and seeds of coriander can be eaten (also the roots apparently, but I haven't tried them).

- the leaves are good for digestion, and add a fresh taste to spicy dishes, best added as a garnish.

- the seeds chewed whole are good for breath freshener, but are also added ground, as part of a spice mix to many different dishes.

In particular, I use ground coriander seed in my spicy Mexican mince recipe.

As I only have coriander for a short period when its cool enough to grow here, I always look forward to it and treasure it while its fresh.  I haven't found a good way to preserve the leaves so far.

eight acres: growing and using coriander (cilantro)
My facourite use of coriander is in guacamole! 

Do you grow coriander?  How do you use it?  Do you call it cilantro?


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Comments

  1. Our coriander just comes up every year but it isn't popular with my husband unfortunately. I think it is a bit of an acquired taste though :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love corriander chopped and mixed through rice or added to nann breads or just sprinkled on curries, I have a problem with it bolting and have just ordered some seeds of a slow to bolt coriander

    ReplyDelete
  3. I use it a lot in cooking of curries. This year I've grown a variety called confetti with really fine leaves, great for a garnish and great flavour from it.
    I'm also growing Quil quina and papalo as a substitute for it as I hate how quickly it bolts!

    ReplyDelete
  4. i love seeing the new plants of coriander come up throughout the garden. was watching a youtube of 'how to prepare the seeds', you roast them & then store in dark glass jars til ready to use (then ground what you need) haven't done that yet but one day soon. am not fussed on the leaves though.
    your garden is looking fabulous too
    thanx for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  5. Coriander is my favourite herb and as you know I like to make it into pesto. Once it is made into pesto I have had some success freezing it.

    ReplyDelete

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