When it comes to herbs and spices, people easily get confused about the difference between cilantro and coriander. While both of them come from the coriander plant, cilantro is the leaves and stems of the plant. On the other hand, coriander normally refers to the seeds produced by the plant. I’m sure you want to know how to store cilantro to make it last as long as possible, right?
Since we are talking about cilantro, we will focus on the stems and leaves of the plant. The herb complements the spiciness in some dishes. It is normally used in Asian, Indian, and Mexican cuisine. But, it doesn’t have a last long so you should know how to store them properly. Read on so you will know how to store fresh cilantro properly and make them last longer.
How to Store Cilantro
Do you want to find out all the details you need to know about how to keep cilantro fresh? Then keep on reading for everything you need.
#1: Store cilantro in a jar with water
Even as cilantro does not last long, you can extend its shelf life using a jar of water and a plastic bag. This is considered the best way to store the herb. This storage method also allows it to last up to two weeks. But before storing the herb, you should make sure its leaves are completely dry.
The first thing to do is to cut off the bottom of the stems. Then put the herb with its stems down into a jar partially filled with water. Before putting the jar into the fridge, cover the leaves with a clear plastic bag. Make sure to change the water when it starts to discolor.
#2: Dry cilantro
If you want to keep cilantro for a long time, you can dry them in an oven. Dried cilantro has a shelf life of up to one year. Just make sure you put the herb in an airtight container and it should be placed in a cool, dry place. While dried cilantro will not spoil, you should take note that they will lose some of its flavors.
Before drying cilantro, wash the herb and pat-dry it. After they are dry, remove the leaves from the stem since this method is only applicable to the leaves of the herb. Then, put the individual leaves in a baking sheet and place it in a preheated oven for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the cilantro leaves to make sure they do not turn brown.
After 30 minutes remove them from the oven using oven mitts then allow them to cool for a few minutes. Then transfer the dried cilantro leaves into an airtight container. Store the jar in a cool, dry place.
#3: Freeze cut cilantro in a plastic bag
Cilantro likes cold temperatures and what better way to store the herb in a cold environment than to freeze it. Storing cilantro in the freezer allows it to last up to two months. One thing you should remember when freezing cilantro is that you should not thaw it when you’re going to use it since it will result in some soggy herbs.
Before freezing cilantro, you should wash the herb, then pat-dry them. Once they are dry, slice them to the lengths you normally use them. Then freeze individual cilantro pieces for 30 minutes while ensuring they are not touching each other. After 30 minutes, transfer the cilantro to a plastic bag and put them back in the freezer.
#4: Freeze chopped cilantro in an ice tray
Aside from putting cilantro in a plastic bag before freezing them, you also have the option of freezing them in an ice tray. Similar to the first method, cilantro can last up to two months when you freeze them in an ice tray. When you’re ready to use them, you just have to take out individual cilantro ice cubes.
The first step is to wash the cilantro before patting them dry. Then chop the cilantro into small pieces before putting them into individual ice cube sections. Once all the cilantro is safely placed in the ice cube sections, carefully pour water into them and freeze them.
What to Do With Excess Cilantro
Since cilantro has a short shelf life, you have the option of storing it in the fridge or the freezer to make it last longer. But you may have no space in the fridge or you are unwilling to use herbs that are not as flavorful as before. So, we listed some things you can do with any excess cilantro you have in the kitchen.
If you have more cilantro than you intended to use at home, you can make homemade cilantro pesto. You can use the pesto on pasta or mix them with some cheese for a tortilla dip. Making the pesto requires a few other ingredients, including almonds, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and oil.
To make cilantro pesto, just put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend them well. Once the ingredients are well-blended, transfer the pesto into jars. You can store the cilantro pesto in the fridge for a week or you can put it in the freezer for a year.
Indian-Style Spicy Cilantro Jam
Aside from pesto, you can also make some spicy cilantro jam. The ingredients of this cilantro recipe are readily available in the grocery, so you don’t have to scurry all over the place to find them. Moreover, it is also easy to make.
Aside from chopped cilantro, the recipe requires canola oil, vinegar, black mustard seeds, brown sugar, and red chili flakes. Saute the mustard seeds before adding the cilantro. Then add the red chili flakes, vinegar, and brown sugar. Make sure to stir the mixture for 30 minutes until it has a pickle-like consistency.
Make Some Chimichurri
Chimichurri is Argentina’s version of the catsup in North America. It is used as a condiment or an ingredient for cooking dishes. All you need to make this Argentinian staple are cilantro, garlic, cumin, lemon, chili flakes, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
To make Chimichurri, just combine all the ingredients except for the salt and pepper in a small bowl. Then season it with salt and pepper.
If you have a ton of extra cilantro, consider blending it up in a smoothie. It adds a nice bit of flavour and can make a very refreshing drink, particularly in the summertime.
Pico De Gallo
One of the main ingredients in Pico De Gallo is cilantro. If you don’t know what this is, it’s a delicious Mexican dip with tomatoes, garlic and some other ingredients. Make up a big old batch and get yourself some tortilla chips (check out: best tortilla makers). Your extra cilantro will likely be gone in no time flat!
Do you need some more tips and tricks? Check this out: Best Way to Store Asparagus.
Summary on How to Store Cilantro
Cilantro is an herb that is used to add a bit of flavor in many dishes. Since cilantro has a short shelf life, you should know the different ways of storing it so it will last a long time.
Have your Say about Cilantro
Have any other ideas on how you can store cilantro? Or, an idea for how to use up a lot of it. Tell us about it below. We’d love to hear from you.
Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. It’ll help other cilantro enthusiasts, like yourself find this useful resource.