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seasonal produce: cilantro

Available year-round, cilantro is also easily grown in the garden, producing seeds that are the spice, coriander. Sprinkle whole or chopped leaves over a variety of dishes for a flavorful garnish.

Purchasing

  • Select cilantro bunches that are brightly colored with fresh, fragrant leaves. To make sure you’re not buying a bunch of parsley, give it a quick sniff to check for its distinctive aroma.
  • Avoid bunches with wilted, yellowed or blackened leaves.
  • Like most fresh herbs, cilantro is very perishable. For short-term storage, refrigerate in a resealable plastic bag with 2 to 3 layers of paper towels for several days.
  • For longer storage, place the cilantro bunch in a container of water like a bouquet of flowers. Cover the top loosely with a plastic bag. Refrigerate up to 1 week, changing the water in the container every 2 days.

Preparing

  • Wash cilantro just before using and blot dry with paper towels.
  • When chopping cilantro, make sure the leaves are well dried to prevent them from sticking to the knife or scissor blades. To chop, use a chef’s knife on a cutting board. Or, place leaves in a glass measuring cup or small bowl and cut into small pieces with kitchen scissors, using short quick snips.
  • Cilantro tastes best when used fresh and added near the end of the cooking time. It loses flavor when dried or exposed to heat.

Nutrition

  • A good source of Vitamin A and C

Serving

  • Enhance the appearance and flavor of your favorite Mexican dishes—nachos, guacamole, enchiladas, tacos, burritos—by garnishing them with whole or chopped cilantro leaves.
  • Add a burst of fresh herbal taste to TACO BELL HOME ORIGINALS Thick ‘N Chunky Salsa by stirring in chopped cilantro.
  • Sprinkle chopped cilantro over your favorite stir-fry, satay, jerk chicken, southwest and curry dishes for authentic seasoning.
  • Bump up the taste and eye appeal of side dishes, such as vegetable salads and rice, by mixing in a handful of chopped cilantro.
  • Give spicy dishes, such as chili, a refreshing dash of cilantro just before serving.
  • Blend chopped cilantro into softened butter, then melt over ears of hot cooked corn or other cooked vegetables.
  • Substitute fresh cilantro for parsley in any recipe where cilantro’s distinctive flavor is desired.
Cilantro
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