cilantro

Pronunciation: [sih-LAHN-troh; see-LAHN-troh]

The bright green leaves and stems of the coriander plant. Cilantro (also called Chinese parsley and coriander) has a lively, pungent fragrance that some describe as "soapy." It is widely used in Asian, Caribbean and Latin American cooking and its distinctive flavor lends itself to highly spiced foods. Cilantro can be found year-round in most supermarkets and is generally sold in bunches. Choose leaves with a bright, even color and no sign of wilting. Cilantro may be stored for up to one week in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Or place the bunch, stems down, in a glass of water and cover with a plastic bag, securing the bag to the glass with a rubber band. Refrigerate, changing water every two or three days. Just before using cilantro, wash and pat dry with paper towels. Both the leaves and relatively tender stems can be used in fresh or cooked dishes.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Herb of the Month: Cilantro

Most folks just love it or hate it – cilantro is fresh, flavorful and super easy to grow. Find out what’s to love about this polarizing herb.

Don't Count Out Cilantro

We heart this fresh, leafy herb and use it in lots of dishes. And while today may be Cinco de Mayo, this baby isn't just for Mexican cuisine.

Southwest Quesadilla With Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream — Meatless Monday

Prepare Sunny Anderson's Southwest Quesadilla With Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream from Food Network for an easy, family-friendly Meatless Monday dinner this week.

Try a Tangy Cilantro-and-Mayonnaise Coating on Broiled Fish

Learn how to cook Arctic char in this week's Chopped Dinner Challenge.