Leaves are called cilantro and the seed is called coriander. They can’t be used interchangeably. Cilantro has a flavor profile that is citrusy and “green”. And if you use too much, it tastes like soap! That’s why I think some people don’t like cilantro. We use cilantro in Asian, Middle Eastern, Indian and Southwestern dishes.
Coriander is the seed of the plant and has a lemony taste. I use it in marinades, with poultry, and with root vegetables.
Cilantro does best in cooler, sunny weather, and the funny thing about cilantro is that it can’t be pinched back a lot like, say, basil, as it doesn’t recover. Plant it in now in early spring and then make successive plantings every few weeks for a continual harvest. The leaves start out nice and large, like flat leaf parsley, but lacier, then they get smaller and smaller and wind up almost fern like as the plant begins to flower and then goes to seed.
You can also plant the seeds in the fall – just sprinkle them with soil and let them sleep all winter long. They’ll be among the first herbs to sprout in the spring.
Cilantro contains calcium and will help remove heavy metals, like lead, from the body.
Carol’s Chicken Diablo
From best friend Carol Spry Vanover, who loves good food with a healthy twist. Here’s my adaptation:
Mix soup, salsa and cumin. Put chicken in spayed 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 3500 for 20 minutes. Arrange artichoke around chicken. Pour soup mixture over top, sprinkle with olives. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, until chicken is done, no longer pink in center. Season to taste and sprinkle with cilantro. Carol says: “A very tasty side dish is any Mexican style rice. I usually cook the rice in chicken broth and add typical Mexican flavorings and black beans.”
Tips from Rita’s garden:
Natorp’s carries 2 varieties of cilantro. Santo has high leaf production and isvery slow bolting. Glory has strong aromatic flavor, great in salsas, grows well in warmer areas.