Are Cilantro And Coriander The Same Thing?

Whether you use the flavorful leaves, the aromatic seeds, or both, this easy-to-grow cilantro plant deserves a spot in your herb garden.

You don't need to be a landowner or have the know-how of a master gardener to grow a thriving herb garden. As long as you provide good soil and the necessary sun and water, plants such as rosemary, basil, and sage grow well in pots right outside your kitchen, providing a source of fresh flavor for your main dish salads, pesto, and vegetable dishes. Some herbs can be used in several ways in your kitchen. For example, do you know the difference between cilantro and coriander? Are they two separate plants or the same one? Cilantro is the name for the leaves and stems of the coriander plant. When the plant flowers and turns to seed, the seeds are called coriander. Cilantro is also the Spanish word for coriander. Here, learn ways to use the flavorful herb and spice from the entirely edible cilantro plant.

Cilantro and Coriander Seeds
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What Is Cilantro?

The serrated-edged cilantro (leaves as well as stems) has a distinctive flavor that lends itself to highly spiced foods, such as Asian, Caribbean, and Latin American dishes. When cooking with fresh cilantro, or any fresh herb, it is best to add the chopped leaves and stems at the end of the recipe or sprinkled across the finished dish. Sometimes referred to as Chinese Parsley or coriander leaves, in most grocery stores the herb is simply labeled cilantro. When you don't have cilantro at hand, substitute fresh parsley.

Where to Grow Cilantro

If you have an empty windowsill that gets plenty of sunlight, you have the perfect place for an indoor herb garden. Fresh herbs not only give you an extra pop of flavor in your dishes at mealtime, but the plants also add extra color to your kitchen decor. Cilantro is easy to grow in an indoor garden. Give it plenty of sunshine and water, and pinch off leaves as needed.

How to Store Cilantro

A bunch of cilantro can be stored for up to 1 week in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Or place the bunch, stems down, in a glass of water and cover it with a plastic bag secured with a rubber band. Place in the refrigerator and change the water every 2-3 days.

Ways to Cook with Cilantro

Freshly chopped cilantro adds a bright taste to dishes with heat. Try it in Chorizo Breakfast Tacos to spice up your mornings or sprinkled over Burrito Bowls. It gives Grilled Shrimp Tacos a twist, or use it to make cool, creamy Cilantro-Lime Crema

What Is Coriander?

The flavors of the tiny coriander seed and the cilantro leaf bear no resemblance to each other; the seeds have an aromatic flavor similar to a combination of lemon, sage, and caraway. Whole coriander seeds are used in pickling and in special drinks, such as mulled wine. Ground seed is used in many baked goods, curry blends, and soups.

To intensify the flavor of coriander seeds, toast the seeds before using. Place the seeds in a dry skillet and heat over medium heat until they become fragrant. This will take just a few minutes, so watch carefully so the seeds don't burn. Once you toast them, crush them using a mallet or the bottom of a heavy skillet. Or pulse them a few times in a clean coffee grinder.

Ways to Cook with Coriander

With notes of citrus and pepper, coriander pairs well with warm spices like ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. It’s great in baked goods and savory dishes like Coriander-Coconut-Braised Ribs or Spiced Chicken and Veggie Kebabs with Grilled Pita Bread. Use coriander seeds in delightfully spiced Escabèche-Style Marinated Tomatoes.

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