Learn About Cilantro

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is Cilantro?

Cilantro is an herb made from the leaves and stem of the coriander plant.  Cilantro is also sometimes called coriander leaves.  It is green, with small, spiky-edged leaves.  Cilantro leaves are soft, while the stems are crunchy.  This herb is mostly consumed fresh, but dried varieties are available.

What Does Cilantro Taste Like?

Cilantro has a strong, pungent flavor.  It is described as having a peppery taste.

Learn About Cilantro
Fresh cilantro leaves on a wooden table.

How Do You Eat Cilantro?

Cilantro is used raw or cooked to flavor foods. Both dried and fresh varieties are used, but fresh cilantro is more prevalent. Cilantro is used in savory dishes and is usually added at the end of cooking to preserve the flavor of the herb. Lime and cilantro pair well together because their flavors complement each other. Common lime and cilantro dishes include rice, chicken, and salad dressing. Cilantro regularly flavors salsa, salmon, and salad. Cilantro leaves are common staples in masalas and other curries, but they are also added to pesto, soup, and potatoes.

Where Can You Buy Cilantro?

Look for fresh cilantro in the produce section of the grocery store.  Fresh cilantro may also be found in farmers markets.  Dried cilantro is in the spice aisle.

How Do You Store Cilantro?

Store fresh cilantro in a cup of water, with the leaves covered in a plastic bag, in the refrigerator.  Dried cilantro should be placed in a sealed, airtight container, like its original spice jar, and stored in a cool, dry place.

Fun Facts About Cilantro

Cilantro is related to parsley.  Even though cilantro comes from the coriander plant, coriander and cilantro do not have the same taste.

Did You Know?

Liking cilantro may be related to your genetics.  People who do not like cilantro may not like it because of a gene.

Recipes Using Cilantro

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Easy Cilantro Pesto

Create a delicious pasta sauce with cilantro. Blend cilantro leaves, parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and almonds in a food processor. The sauce should have small chunks. Serve over your favorite pasta.

Creamy Cilantro Dressing

Enjoy cilantro disguised in a creamy salad dressing. Blend greek yogurt, olive oil, cilantro, jalapeƱos, lime juice, and garlic until smooth. Top salads with this dressing or use it as a dipping sauce for jicama fries.

Cilantro and Lime Rice

Add some flair to your regular rice side dish. Prepare your favorite rice as normal until all liquid evaporates. Squeeze fresh lime juice and use a zester to zest lime zest over the rice. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over the top and serve.

Guacamole

Making your own guacamole dip is an easy process. Combine mashed avocado, cilantro, diced onions, diced tomatoes, garlic, lime juice, salt, and jalapeƱos. Serve with tortilla chips or pita chips.

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Cilantro and lime work well together in this chicken dish. Salt and pepper chicken thighs and cook in a skillet with olive oil. When chicken is cooked through, remove from the pan and top with freshly squeezed lime juice and chopped cilantro.


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