Growing an herbal garden is an excellent way to add fresh flavor to your favorite meals. However, many herbs are fast growers and only last so long after clipping them from the plant. Learn how to store cilantro in a variety of ways and prepare this herb in delicious recipes.
Cilantro is an herbal plant that people either love or hate. Some cannot get enough of these fresh herbs and add them to everything from salsa to stir fry, while others claim it tastes like dish soap.
Being in the cilantro-loving group, we’re always searching for ways to store this aromatic herb. One of the many things we fancy about this plant is the fact that it is two herbs in one.
Harvest the leaves for tasty cilantro or wait until the flowers go to seed and gather coriander seeds for pickling. It’s like going to the store and finding a buy-one-get-one-free special, and both parts of the plant are uncomplicated to store.
- Storing Cilantro and Coriander Short and Long Term
- Choosing the Best Herbs before Storing Cilantro
- Best Way to Store Cilantro in the Fridge
- How to Store Cilantro in the Freezer
- Making Herbal Ice Cubes with Cilantro
- How to Dry Cilantro for the Spice Cabinet
- Harvesting and Storing Coriander
- Making and Storing Cilantro and Mint Sauce
- Make Refrigerator Pickles with Coriander Seeds
Storing Cilantro and Coriander Short and Long Term
There are a few ways to keep cilantro fresh, whether you harvest your herbs from the garden or purchase a large bunch of cilantro from the grocery store. Not only that, but it’s just as simple to store cilantro in the freezer and spice cabinet.
Choosing the Best Herbs before Storing Cilantro
It’s essential to choose healthy plants before storing cilantro, no matter which storage method you choose. The healthier the stems and leaves, the tastier the herb is, and the better it stores.
Healthy and Tasty Cilantro
When buying cilantro from the grocery store, look for herbs with healthy green leaves and sturdy stems. Make sure they are not damp or wilted and avoid herbs with brown, soggy leaves.
Harvest the leaves at any time if you grow your own cilantro in the garden. Clip the leaves as needed for use in recipes or remove large leaves and store them in the fridge or freezer for later.
Best Way to Store Cilantro in the Fridge
The best way to store cilantro short term is in the refrigerator. This technique is ideal for storing bunches of herbs from either the grocery store or garden.
Do not wash the cilantro before putting it in the fridge. Use shears or a knife to cut away the lower part of the stems, and pat the herbs down with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
Fill a jar with a couple of inches of water and store fresh cilantro by placing them stem-side down in the water.
Cover the top of the leaves with a loose plastic bag, secure it with a rubber band, and set the jar in the fridge. Replace the water in the jar every couple of days and use the cilantro within two weeks.
How to Store Cilantro in the Freezer
It’s always good to store cilantro in the fridge. However, it isn’t always possible if you have a large bunch or harvest. Rather than letting the herbs go to waste, consider freezing them for long term storage.
Place the cilantro in a colander and clean the herbs under cold, running water to remove dirt. Set them on a cutting board and pat them dry with paper towels.
Use a sharp knife to cut the leaves away from the stalks and spread them on a baking sheet. Flash freeze the herbs in the freezer for half an hour to prevent the leaves from sticking together.
Quickly transfer the frozen cilantro to freezer bags to prevent them from defrosting and label the container with the date and contents. Freeze the herbs for up to two months. Do not thaw the cilantro when using it in a recipe.
Making Herbal Ice Cubes with Cilantro
Another great way to freeze cilantro is to make ice cubes. This method is easy, and the frozen cubes of cilantro are delicious tossed into your favorite soups or floating in a cilantro margarita.
Wash the herbs thoroughly in a colander under running water and pat them dry using paper towels. Use a sharp knife to dice the cilantro sprigs into small pieces and place one tablespoon of the chopped herb in each compartment of an ice cube tray.
Fill the remaining part of each section with cold water and place the tray in the freezer. Leave the cubes in the tray or transfer the frozen cilantro ice cubes to a freezer bag or airtight container and save them for up to two months.
How to Dry Cilantro for the Spice Cabinet
Consider making a batch of dried cilantro to keep handy in your spice cabinet for the longest shelf life. Dried herbs last two to three years under the right conditions and are readily available for adding quick flavor to your favorite recipes.
Set a colander in the kitchen sink, and clean the cilantro under running water. Place the herb on a paper towel-lined cutting board and pat the herbs dry.
Use a knife to remove the leaves from the cilantro stems and dispose of the stalks. Coat a baking pan lightly with non-stick spray and lay the leafy herbs on the sheet.
Dry the cilantro in an oven preheated to 250°F for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the baking sheet and allow it to cool completely before placing the dried herbs into a spice jar. Keep your fresh, dried cilantro in the pantry or spice cabinet for up to three years.
Harvesting and Storing Coriander
While other plants stop growing for the season and begin turning brown, cilantro has something more to offer. During this time, the plant produces coriander seeds, and harvesting them is very simple.
Make sure to harvest the pods before the seeds release into the garden. Harvest the plant on a dry day by cutting off the top of the stems after the seeds turn brown and easily crack when pressed.
Place the seedpods into a paper bag and place it in a dark and cool, well-ventilated space for a few weeks. Shake the bag vigorously to loosen the seeds from the pods. Separate the seeds and place them into an airtight jar or grind them into a powder.
Making and Storing Cilantro and Mint Sauce
Mint sauce is creamy and fresh, and adding cilantro enhances the flavor with a unique and surprising zest. This condiment is a favorite alongside roast lamb and only takes a few minutes to prepare.
Pour the yogurt into a blender or food processor and add the cilantro, mint, onion, and jalapeno peppers.
Add salt and pepper and process the mixture for one minute, scraping the sides down with a rubber spatula every 15 seconds. Pour the cilantro mint sauce into a jar, seal it with a lid and refrigerate for two to three days.
Make Refrigerator Pickles with Coriander Seeds
Now that you know where to store cilantro, why not utilize the coriander seeds in a batch of refrigerator pickles? This basic pickle recipe is vegan and gluten-free, uses simple ingredients, and is easy to personalize with your favorite spices and vegetables.
Pack a large Mason jar with the sliced cucumber, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, and dill, and set it aside. Pour vinegar, sugar, and salt into a pot and cook it over medium heat to dissolve the salt and sugar.
Cool the brine in the fridge for half an hour and then pour the liquid over the top of the cucumber slices to submerge them.
Seal the jar tightly and shake it to mix well before storing the pickles in the fridge for at least an hour. The longer they rest, the better their flavor. The quick pickles keep in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
Cilantro is an aromatic herb that adds a kick of flavor to many recipes, but this herb only lasts so long if you do not store it properly.
Keeping this herb fresh in the fridge is easy using a glass jar and plastic bag, and freezing or drying it means you get to enjoy it even longer.
Now that you know how to store cilantro to enjoy fresh and dried herbs in your favorite dishes, we’d love it if you share our cilantro storage tips and techniques with your friends and family on Facebook and Pinterest.