There’s a small percentage of the population that hates cilantro, which sounds crazy to me because I love it! For some people cilantro has a distinct soapy flavor and they’d rather throw it on the floor than eat it. (including Julia Child!) If this describes you, luckily we grow a lot of other herbs you can enjoy. For everyone else there a lot of great ways to use this fresh-tasting herb! The bunches of cilantro in our CSA are typically larger, and fresher than what you’ll find in the store. The best way I have found to store cilantro is to place the stems in a jar of water and place in the refrigerator. Unlike basil, cilantro seems to do well in the refrigerator. I’ve kept cilantro for over a week this way, pulling out a handful for various recipes.
Salsa. Use up the bulk of your cilantro bunch with this super easy Pico de Gallo Recipe. It’s a basic recipe anyone can handle – chop into uniform pieces and stir. If you’re in a rush freshen up a bit of store-bought salsa with chopped fresh cilantro, grated carrot, and diced avocado.
Potato Salad. Swap out the typical parsley in potato salad with cilantro. Before I learned to seriously love parsley I used to sub cilantro in most recipes. The cilantro brightens up the salad and gives it a fresh summery taste.
Green Salad. Try this taco salad, where chopped cilantro is added directly to the lettuce. Cilantro and lettuce form a flavorful salad base, and there’s a vegetarian version. This would be great in an Asian inspired salad as well.
Slaw. Try this Peanut & Cilantro Slaw at your next potluck. It’s light, crunchy, and refreshing, all of the things a great slaw should be. Cilantro will likely make a great addition to your favorite slaw recipe as well.
Dips and spreads. Fold or pulse chopped cilantro into homemade hummus, or liven up your store-bought tub. Cilantro, lime, and jalapeno make an awesome and unique hummus. If you have a cucumber around try our recipe for Cucumber Tzatziki Sauce. You can also whip up a quick dip using mayonnaise or greek yogurt as a base. Start with about a half a cup, then add 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro. Squeeze in some lime and sprinkle with salt. Use for fritters, tacos, salads, etc.
Pesto. The great thing about pesto is you can make it with just about any herb. We have a lot of versions in our recipe collection, including Roasted Chili, Garlic, & Cilantro Pesto.
Marinades and Dressings. Check out our tutorial on making your own salad dressings – choose your oil and vinegar base, then flavor with minced cilantro. If you’re marinating fish or chicken, sprinkle chopped cilantro right into the marinade. It pairs really well with citrus based marinades.
Garnish. Sounds obvious, but chopped cilantro can be added to soups, salads, sandwiches, beans, eggs, the list goes on! Keep a small container of washed and chopped cilantro ready for garnishing. Some of our favorites include Summer Vegetable Miso Soup, Thai Peanut Salad, and Red Lentil Collard Stew.
Cocktails. Summer herby cocktails are all the rage! While we haven’t tried it (yet), we did make some basil simple syrup that turned into fresh and tasty basil gimlets. Muddle cilantro and lime in a glass, add rum, top with tonic or seltzer for a refreshing Cilantro Mojito!
Soups. Add cilantro during cooking to black bean soup, noodle soup, or even tomato based soups. The flavor holds up, and is complimented well by a fresh sprinkling of additional cilantro.
Eggs. Fold cilantro into scrambled eggs, or top a frittata or shaksuka. Especially good with Mexican inspired brunch dishes like huevos rancheros.
Grains. Cilantro lime rice is perfect on taco night, just add chopped cilantro and lime juice to cooked rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add to farro or quinoa salads. One of my favorites is a tabouli style quinoa salad with cilantro instead of parsley.
Did we miss any? Let us know about your favorite ways to use and store cilantro in the comments!