madeweekly

Herb oils are a cinch to make, and are a wonderful finishing element to have on hand. 

Cilantro oil is awesome drizzled over soups (like gazpacho!), on top of scrambled eggs, or whisked with lemon juice or vinegar to make a vinaigrette. You shouldn’t cook with herb oil because heat will affect the flavor, but think of it as the finishing touch. 

Cover and keep in the refrigerator. It’s best if you use herb oil within a day, or it will lose its potency and within a few days it will go bad.

Cilantro 101

I know, cilantro is polarizing. The only reason I accept that people might not love cilantro as much as I do is that their aversion is supposedly genetic. Cilantro-haters can’t help it, so I forgive them.

Many of the cuisines I love the most use cilantro frequently – Mexican, Thai, Indian, Middle Eastern. Cilantro has a wonderfully bright flavor that enhances and complements the strong spices often found in those cuisines. 

Cilantro / Coriander: Technically the plant is called coriander. Here in the US, we call its fresh, leafy version cilantro, and the dried seeds coriander. In other countries, the fresh herb is also known as coriander. 

Storage: Cilantro has a tendency to go bad quickly. My most successful storage technique is to wash it upon bringing it home and dry it as well as possible (in a salad spinner if you have one). Wrap in a couple of paper towels and store in a large ziplock bag, with the air pushed out. 

From root to leaf: The entire cilantro plant can be used for cooking – its pungent roots are often used in Thai curries, its stems are tender enough to chop up along with the leaves, and its seeds have a lemony, mildly spiced flavor.

WTF is Culantro?: Apparently another plant called culantro (also known as Mexican Coriander) exists, which is related in flavor but looks like a leafy aloe plant. I have yet to come across culantro, but when I do, I will be sure to report back. 

Cilantro haters, step aside!