It seems that you either love or hate fresh coriander (not to be confused with the spice which comes from the same plant, but is the seeds) also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley in some parts of the world.
Coming from the plant Coriandrum sativm, coriander is native to the Mediterranean region and is believed to have been used in Egypt since at least 1550BC.
As a member of the parsley family it teams well with other members of this family such as parsnips, carrots and celery as well as any number of proteins.
Coriander is used extensively in Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, Indian and Moroccan cuisines where it is often teamed with seafood, lamb or chicken or used to perk up rice, lentil or bean dishes.
There are also many possible health benefits from consuming coriander including heavy metal detoxification. Research has shown thatcoriander suppresses lead accumulation in rats and there are currently studies underway using coriander as a natural water purifier. Consuming coriander is also said to be beneficial in decreasing the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease while also promoting healthy skin and hair.
Availability: At The Chef’s Garden @ Epicurean coriander is available year round, but is at its most abundant during the cooler months.
Goes with: avocados; beef; chicken; chillies; coconut; fish; garlic; pork; seafood; yogurt
SELECTION, STORAGE, PREPARATION & USING
Selection: Choose bunches with bright green leaves and avoid those with that are wilted, yellow or bruised. If bunches have the roots intact, remember these are edible too and used extensively in Asian cuisine – bunches with roots keep longer and remain fresh for longer.
Storage: Place bunches in a glass of water, cover with a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator.
Preparation: Wash to remove any dirt by dipping in a large bowl of water, shake to dry or pat with a clean tea towel. If using the roots, wash well and you might need to lightly scrub to remove any excess soil.
Using: As mentioned above the leaves, stems and roots of fresh coriander can all be used. Leaves are used whole, shredded or chopped and the stems and roots, chopped.
- Coriander Lime Dressing: Use this dressing on mixed leaves or toss through corn kernels to make a simple salad. Place 2 bunches fresh coriander, 4 cloves garlic and juice of 1 lime in a food processor and process for 30 seconds, with machine running slowly add about ¼-½ cup olive oil and process to combine. Season to taste with sea salt. Makes about ½ cup.
- Fresh Coriander Pesto: Toss this pesto through cooked pasta, or mix with ricotta cheese to make a refreshing dip. Place 2 bunches fresh coriander, ½ cup blanched almonds, 1 chopped small red onion and 1 fresh red chilli, or quantity to taste, in a food processor and process to combine. With machine running slowly pour in ¼-½ cup olive oil and process to make a chunky pesto dip. Makes about 1 cup.
- Coriander Lime Butter: Fresh coriander and lime juice appear together in many cuisines and are natural partners. Try this herb butter on barbecued corn-on-the-cob, steamed baby carrots, steamed broccoli or cauliflower, grilled chicken or fish or anything else that takes your fancy. Place 125g room temperature butter in a bowl, add ¼ cup chopped fresh coriander and a good squeeze of fresh lime juice and mix well to combine. Place butter on a piece of plastic food wrap and roll to form a log, twist ends and refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about ½ cup.
Recipes using coriander
- Roast Coriander and Lemon Marinated Drumsticks
- Green Rice
- Spicy Coriander Rice
- Mushroom Coriander Soup
- Kingfish with Lemon & Coriander Vinaigrette
- Kingfish with Leeks, Lime and Coriander
- Fish & Chorizo Kebabs with Lime Coriander Dressing
- BBQ Tandoori Chicken with Fresh Coriander Relish
- Indian-inspired Spicy Cabbage
- Creamy Fish & Red Capsicum Curry
- Smashed Avocado & Feta Toast