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.

Some of you balked when we didn't include cilantro in our Top 5 Herbs for Healthy Cooking list. That doesn't mean it gets no love. 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.

Flavor and Nutrition

In my experience, people either love or hate cilantro. Lovers (myself included) describe it as tangy and citrus-y, while haters may call it soapy or metallic. Like many other green herbs, cilantro contains vitamins A, C and K for healthy blood and bones -- and with just a pinch added here or there to dishes, it adds negligible calories and loads of flavor.

Growing Cilantro

Herb gardeners, listen up: Cilantro, an annual herb, grows quickly and with minimal maintenance so it's perfect for a home garden or window container. Once the plant has finished growing for the season, keep the small round seeds it produces. If you dry them, you've got your own coriander seed (yep, coriander and cilantro are the same thing -- both members of the parsley family). Pop the seeds in a spice grinder for a grounded powder. It has a deep flavor that's a wonderful seasoning for dry rubs, fajitas, chili or Indian dishes.

Savoring Cilantro

Like I said, cilantro is popular in Mexican and Latin cuisine, but this little herb gets around. You'll also find it in Indian, Mediterranean and Chinese and South Asian recipes.

Chopped, fresh cilantro is perfect in pasta salad, salsa or classic guacamole, but cook it in soups and rice, too. I often add it to softened butter to make a compound butter for fish or steamed vegetables. Create your own finishing salt by tossing a handful of cilantro in the food processor with sea salt. And if you find yourself with a bunch leftover, mix the cilantro leaves with other leafy greens for a salad blend -- that polishes them off easily.

    Recipes to try:

Next Up

Don’t Worry, You Can Still Snag Hidden Valley Ranch’s Sold-Out Home Decor

The dressing brand’s vibrant home collection is set to be restocked within the next week.

Don’t Throw That Out: Thanksgiving Edition

Follow these handy tips and ideas for repurposing Thanksgiving leftovers.

French Fry Shortage?! It’s OK, Don’t Freak Out

Weather conditions have damaged some potato crops, but your fast-food side order is probably safe.

Don't Miss Out On This Once-A-Year Ice Cream Sale

Goldbelly's annual ice cream sale is here to cool you down this summer!

Don’t Throw Out Your Leftovers! Here’s How to Use ’Em Up

Tossing out what’s left after a meal is a waste of money and food. Here’s how to save more of both.

Don't Throw Those Out!: Recipes for Throwaway Ingredients from Food Network Kitchen

Don't throw out things like carrot tops and lemon peels. Use them in one of these recipes from Food Network.

Vegetarians Don’t Have to Miss Out on Pizza Hut’s Pepperoni Pizza Anymore

The chain and Beyond Meat are testing a plant-based pepperoni in five markets. Is it near you?

Dining Out with Kids? Follow These 6 Tips So Others Don't Dislike You

One mom shares honest advice about how to successfully dine out with kids.