Christmas holiday has passed again and I can still remember the taste of cilantro from my own holiday chicken recipe. I took the risk of adding cilantro though I was in doubt of the outcome. But I prove myself wrong and realize how tasty it is. The thing is I bought too much cilantro.
Cilantro has been famous since 3,000 B.C. This herb has many uses. From its seeds called coriander, which has a milder taste, up to its tasty leaves. Freezing fresh cilantro doesn’t affect its health benefits.
On the contrary, there are many people who don’t like cilantro. I remember watching a food program where the hosts tried it but didn’t like the aftertaste of it. But for those who like it, I definitely suggest them this article.
Can You Freeze Cilantro?
Cilantro is one of those herbs you either love or hate. There’s no in-between for this polarizing dish. If you happen to be someone who loves it, then you’ll be happy to know can freeze cilantro. It’s a versatile herb that can be used all year round and will last for months when frozen correctly.
As a food enthusiast, there are many ingredients that I can’t miss in my kitchen. One of those is cilantro. Whenever I run out of it, nothing gives me the drive to cook.
If you’re a fan of cilantro, then you must know that keeping its freshness is very important. Its heavy taste has a purpose in particular dishes.
There are lucky people who live in places where cilantro grows all year round. Its farm has a very strong smell, which is a bit of a turn-off. But, the best thing is it’s perfect for freezing and preserving.
Growing your own cilantro is an advantage. The perfect time to preserve them is during the cold season since they don’t grow that much during this period. If you can’t grow them, then find a vegetable supplier who can deliver you fresh cilantro.
Many people are not familiar with freezing cilantro maybe because it’s not their favorite vegetable. Part of the freezing process is familiarizing yourself with the fresh smell of cilantro. My tip is always to look for the one with a very strong smell.
Prepare what you need for your freezing activity. You’ll need paper towels, a baking sheet, wax paper, freezer paper, and a freezer bag. You can also add olive oil to keep the leaves warm even if it’s in a freezing point.
This process, like others, is quick and simple. If you have a blender, use it to make freezing easier. Following these steps will make the cilantro’s shelf-life much longer.
Freezing fresh cilantro
- Like other vegetables, washing the ingredient thoroughly is the first step.
- Use a strainer to drain excess water.
- While waiting for the cilantro to dry, prepare other materials such as blender, olive oil, large spoon, ice cube trays (if preferred), and a spatula.
- Chop the cilantro. It doesn’t need to be perfectly chopped.
- Mix chopped cilantro and olive oil in a blender.
- Put the blended mixture in an ice cube tray.
- Freeze for several hours.
- When it’s already frozen, transfer the small bites into a large plastic freezer bag.
- Then it’s ready to use.
Another way to preserve fresh cilantro is to put it in a small jar filled with water. This method is the same as preserving basil. With this one, you don’t need to put it in the fridge but just leave it on the counter.
How To Use Up Extra/Leftover Cilantro?
Cilantro is a delicious and versatile herb that can be used in a variety of dishes. But what do you do when you have extra cilantro? Here are five delicious ways to use up your leftover cilantro:
- Add it to your guacamole – Cilantro is a classic ingredient in guacamole. Just add it in with the rest of your ingredients, and you’ll have a delicious and healthy dip in no time.
- Use it as a garnish – Cilantro makes a great garnish for tacos, enchiladas, or any other Mexican-inspired dish. Simply sprinkle it over the top of your dish, and you’re good to go.
- Add it to your salad – Cilantro can also be used to add flavor to your salad. Just add it in with the rest of your ingredients, and you’ll have a delicious and healthy salad in no time.
- Make a cilantro pesto – Cilantro pesto is a great way to use up extra cilantro. To make cilantro pesto, you will need 1 cup of packed cilantro leaves, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Simply combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. This recipe makes about 1 cup of pesto.
- Use it as a garnish – Cilantro also makes a great garnish for soup, chili, or any other dish. Simply sprinkle it over the top of your dish, and you’re good to go.
So there you have it – five delicious ways to use up your leftover cilantro. Next time you find yourself with extra cilantro, try one of these recipes and enjoy!
Don’t be scared with the strong taste of cilantro since you can recreate dishes with it that you’ll surely enjoy. You can add it to your dipping sauce, salads, or even for marinating. Here are some recipes that you can try:
Peanut cilantro dip
This is a Thai-style dip that goes very well with vegetable sticks or even with bread. You can adjust the saltiness of the dip depending on your preference. The taste is adjustable so you can enjoy it as much as you want.
The cilantro’s role here doesn’t only spice up the dish but tone down other greens that you’d like to add. There’s a wide variety of ingredients in this recipe that gives the dish an Indian feel. It’s so natural and healthful giving you a guilt-free pleasure.
Cilantro is a perfect addition to the marinade of this dish. It’s very Mexican especially when you eat it with Mexican rice or tortillas. Thanks to cilantro for the chicken breast’s nice and aromatic flavor.
Yes, you can freeze cilantro. Frozen cilantro will last for 6-12 months in your freezer. To freeze, wash thoroughly and chop the cilantro finely or blend it with olive oil. Put each mixture into an ice cube tray before freezing them for several hours until they are frozen solid. Transfer to a large plastic freezer bag once frozen which is ready to use when necessary! What type of recipes have you made using fresh or frozen cilantro? Share below in the comments!