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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A good source of Vitamin A and C
- 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.