It seems there’s no in-between with cilantro – you either love it or you despise it. I happen to be a huge fan, so I tend to keep a bundle of fresh cilantro on hand at all times. And don’t even bother using DRIED cilantro; if you ask me, it’s a total waste of both time and money – the flavor is almost nil!
I grow a lot of fresh herbs in my beds, but cilantro is one that I can honestly say I’ve never had good luck with. I’ve tried many times, but it always goes to seed too quickly, or even worse, it expires!
Luckily, cilantro is inexpensive to purchase and I’ve found that the best method is storing it on my counter in a mason jar that’s got 2-3 inches of water in the bottom. Yes, I’d rather keep my cilantro jar in the fridge, but with four men in my household, it seems like storing it in the fridge is just ASKING for trouble since they somehow manage to knock it over and water goes everywhere – not fun. So, I opt for a safer place – right behind my kitchen sink where I see it often and am reminded to change the water daily.
My friend, Karen Hanson, who is a Hy-Vee Dietitian, once shared with me that we all have a genetic predisposition to cilantro; those who dislike it, will likely always be that way, no matter what. That said, it’s typically best not to mince cilantro TOO MUCH as this tends to amplify the “soapy” flavor that can be associated with cilantro; leaving it in larger pieces allows our guests to simply pull it to the side if they choose not to partake.
When chopping cilantro, you can do so on your cutting board using your favorite knife, but I tend to do it the lazier way – using my kitchen shears to lop off a section, placing it into a small bowl where I can then go to town on the leaves with my shears, giving it a rough chop. Do I use the stems as well as the leaves? Yes, as long as the stems are thin and very pliable, it doesn’t hurt to include a few in what’s getting chopped.
Now You’re Cookin’,
Here’s one of my favorite recipes for fresh cilantro: Fiesta Shredded Beef Pizza!