Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Freezing Cilantro

Cilantro patch
Cilantro is one of those foods people seem to either love or hate. For the longest time, I did not like cilantro and anything that had this powerful herb in it. But now, I love it. I can't remember exactly what caused my change of heart, but now I crave that unique flavor. Fresh tomato salsa just isn't the same without it.

As a result, I planted some cilantro last year. Because it looks a little like parsley, I assumed it grows like parsley and the plant would be a nice bushy plant that I could take from as needed all summer. Not so! I was also hoping to harvest fresh cilantro at the same time as my tomatoes and peppers. My plan failed. The cilantro had flowered and produced seeds (aka coriander seeds) by the time the peppers and tomatoes were ready. 
I learned my lesson - harvest cilantro early, just before flowering. If you want fresh cilantro when the tomatoes are ripe, seed your cilantro accordingly (mid to end of July). You might even consider seeding several crops of cilantro since it has a relatively short growing cycle.

The good thing about letting cilantro go to seed is that it reseeds itself. This year it came up all over my little herb garden. And now, it is ready to harvest.
Since my tomatoes are far from ripe, I like to freeze it for later use.  I simply wash it, remove any tough stems and then lay it on a towel to air dry.  Once dry, I chop it and put it in a freezer bag.  That's it.
washed and drying
How do you feel about cilantro?

No comments: