The Magic Of Fresh Coriander

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People either love cilantro or loathe it. Those in the latter camp often describe its flavour as soapy, while those in the former rhapsodize about its floral, delicate citrus tones and bright aroma. This post is for you, the unabashed cilantro lover. It is August, the time of year for this lovely annual herb to manifest its destiny in the form of fresh coriander seeds. 

 

 

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Cilantro, as an herb grown specifically for its leaves does have a short growing season, a few weeks at best before the plant starts to bolt. Alas, those irresistible leaves change in shape and size and flavour; the leaves reduce in size and the plant’s energy all goes toward making its lovely little white flowers, and then the seeds that come thereafter. And of course it is the seeds of the cilantro plant that we (some of us, anyway) know and love as coriander. But fret not! Once the cilantro plant has gone to seed and produced coriander, a whole new vista of culinary delights awaits. Most of us are familiar with the dried form of coriander and use it in stews and pickling. Ground, it is an essential ingredient in garam masala and a must have ingredient for curries. To get the most bang out of dried coriander seeds, gently toast them for a few minutes until they become warm and fragrant and slightly nutty.

looks sad, yields magic

looks sad, yields magic

 

But here is the best part about this awesome herb: harvesting and eating the newly formed green coriander seeds. The flavour profile is more intensified and robust. This seed offers a burst of excitement and the duality of maturation, the green days of youth growing gold. Delicious!

Try a few little green berries on your next taco. They can be be frozen for use year round. A gift of summer to brighten the rest of the year.

 

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