What’s Green, Leafy and Wins Awards for ‘Herb of the Year’?

Coriandrum sativum ‘Calypso’
Cilantro Calypso Coriander, Chinese Parsley

Now is the perfect time to pick homegrown cilantro and use it in your favorite recipes. Both the leaves and the seeds have a distinctive flavor and aroma.  The leaves of this cilantro are slower to bolt than others. The dried seeds, called coriander, are used after the flowers form. These full, bulky plants provide a high leaf yield. Cilantro and Coriander serve many culinary uses in Mexican, Thai, Middle Eastern and Indian dishes.

Joannie, our Perennial and Herb guru, suggests planting a container of 5 herbs and placing it in full sun near the grill where it is easily accessible to add fresh herbs to grilled meats and vegetables. Use twice as much fresh herbs as you would dried herbs when flavoring foods. Having two cilantro plants is a good idea as many recipes will call for ½ a bunch to be used at a time. The more you pinch the leaves and use the herbs, the more stimulated the plant will be, producing more yield.Elote Corn

Fresh cilantro can be added to melted butter and brushed onto corn on the cob. Mexican corn, or Elote, is a favorite addition to a summertime meal. Grill the corn then brush with mayonnaise. Sprinkle with Cojito cheese and fresh cilantro. Add chili pepper and cayenne pepper if you like it spicy, squeezing a lime wedge over top to add some zest.

Fresh cilantro adds a whole other dimension to homemade guacamole. Avocados, tomatoes, onions, garlic, cayenne, salt and lime along with cilantro for garnish is all you need for compliments on your dip skills at the next gathering with friends.

Here is a healthy Black Bean Salsa recipe to try:

  • 2 – 15 oz. black beans, drained
  • 1 – 15 oz. white corn, drained
  • 2 – large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 – purple onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon pepper

Makes 6 cups. Serve with chips. Garnish with avocado or add before serving. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks.