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Old 01-12-2007, 06:19 PM   #1
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Keeping cilantro

I know many people hate the stuff, but I love it, and like to make fresh salsa and chili and guacamole quite often. I'd like to know how I can keep some on hand (I know I should just plant some in the house - that would solve the problem). I had a brainstorm, however, and I wonder if it might work. Since it comes in pretty big bunches, and drying it doesn't preserve that fresh taste, do you think it would freeze well, say, in an ice cube tray with a bit of water? I suppose the only way to find out is to try it, but I'd appreciate knowing if anyone has had success freezing fresh cilantro.



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Old 01-12-2007, 06:32 PM   #2
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mmmm - I keep mine in a glass of water on the counter (changing water every day and trimming a bit off the stem every day) or in a plastic bag, which I keep open, with a wet/moist paper towel at the bottom. I feel though it would freeze the same as basil. I wonder if you froze some with some of the ingredients to salsa, i.e., spring or white onion. When needed just let it come to room temp.

Good question! I never knew pesto could be thawed to taste like it had JUST been made until I did it. Yes, one time I nuked it on defrost and it separated and had to be used for a cooked dish.

I'm really curious what others have to say. Cilantro is, in my opinion, not worth growing as the growing season of one plant is so very short. A plant can go to seed in just a couple weeks. You either have to stagger your plants or give up and buy. Oh, and I have nothing but shade. I grow moss quite well though!


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Old 01-12-2007, 06:41 PM   #3
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I am anxiously awaiting the results of the experiment. In the mean time I get up to two weeks out of it when rolled in damp paper towels and then sealed in plastic bags. You could add the frozen cilantro to a pot of beans or some other simmered liquid dish but you would not sprinkle the greens as a garnish over anything. You might make a sofrito and freeze that in appropriate portions.
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Old 01-12-2007, 09:18 PM   #4
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I buy cilantro every week but then again I use it as a garnish in almost everything I make (that's how Indian food is garnished).

Sometimes when I have a lot of cilantro and I dont want it to spoil and want to keep it for a while here is what I do. It works well for me. You can give it a try.

Take a large bowl, fill it with regular cold tap water. add the cilantro to the water (I discard thick stems but leave the rest in there). Let the cilantro soak in the water a bit and the debri will settle to the bottom.

Next I roughly chop the cilantro and add that to a food processor along with a jalapeno. I grind it all together until it is a thick paste. Remove it in a container and squeeze a juice of a lime in it. You have an instant cilantro paste available for use. You can add a tbsp of that to anything you make and it will have the distinct cilantro flavor you are looking for.

I leave this in the refrigerator and it last for two to three weeks. You can also freeze it and it will last even longer.

I also use this to make a cilantro chutney. You can add a little bit of fresh coconut to this or mix this with yogurt and you have a unique dip.
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Old 01-12-2007, 09:21 PM   #5
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Much like parsley, I now keep it in a vase of water in the fridge, trim the stems now and then. It should last about two weeks.
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Old 01-14-2007, 08:12 AM   #6
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I always have cilantro in the freezer for last minute dishes and it works great. Fresh is always better, but you do what you can and freezing is better than having to omit it from the dish.
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:23 PM   #7
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I LOOOVE cilantro
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Old 01-16-2007, 11:31 AM   #8
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I either chop it and freeze it tight in a ziplock or, more often, I do something like Yakuta does and process it with some garlic and freeze in in 1T dollops.

I gave up on the ice cube tray thing a long time ago, as I can't tell any difference between herbs frozen in water and herbs frozen in airtight bags. Both are still good to cook with.
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Old 01-16-2007, 06:07 PM   #9
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I'm afraid I'm very lazy and extraordinarily spoiled.
I buy cilantro because Venezuelan cooking uses cilantro all the time.
We wash it, pat it dry and wrap it in damp kitchen roll, place in a plastic bag, and use as quickly as poss. If it rots ( which it tends to do frequently), I go to the Supermarket and buy some more.

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