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Cilantro - What is Cilantro Used For?

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Cilantro

Cilantro

© 2008, A. Jeanroy, Licensed to About.com

Overview:

Coriander is a double duty herb. Its seeds are knows as coriander and its leaves are known as cilantro. This distinct tasting herb is perfect for indoor and kitchen gardens. It resembles flat parsley in its appearance and is sometimes called Chinese parsley. With its refreshing, cooling taste, it is easy to see why cilantro is used with the spicy dishes so common to Latin cuisine.

Latin Name:

Coriandrum sativum

Common Name:

cilantro, coriander

USDA Hardiness Zone:

Annual, all zones

Exposure:

Full sun, partial sun, shade. Best sown in cooler weather as it tends to go to seed in high heat.

Harvest:

For cilantro, harvest the leaves with sharp scissors. If coriander is wanted, let a few of the stems go to seed and then cut the entire flower.

Uses:

Cilantro is a common ingredient in Latin and Indian cuisine. To release more of the flavor from the coriander, roast the seeds in a dry, hot pan for a few minutes until you can smell the scent strongly. These seeds are ground in a mortar and pestle or herb grinder before use.

Coriander is easy to grow indoors and out. It is a good idea to have two separate plantings so you can harvest the tender leaves and stems for cilantro and let one patch go to seed for coriander. Coriander likes well drained, rich soil and will bolt and turn bitter if grown at temperatures over 75 degrees, so plant it after frost has passed but enjoy it until the full heat of summer hits.

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