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Old 02-20-2011, 09:29 PM   #1
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Cilantro Ethnic

Question regarding cilantro, specifically for those experienced with ethnic cooking with it: the bloody stuff bolts like crazy in the herb garden. How do you ensure a steady, fresh supply "at home"? Buying fresh herbs is OK, but I really prefer to grow them, so they are right there fresh and ready when I take a notion.

I am growing (sorta) cilantro in Northern Middle Tennessee, so I am a little cooler in the summer than most of the places in which cilantro is a staple. Cooler should retard bolting, but I only get about 6 weeks of good cilantro here, with maybe another month in the Fall. I tried posing the "how to grow" question in the "gardening" section here, without many new insights, but when reading the posts of native chefs, explaining their own cuisine, I was struck by the thought that there might be some obvious trick to keeping the bloody stuff leafy, known to every Thai, Mexican, Indian, and Vietnamese on the earth, but denied to the Anglos.

Is there? Can you share?

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Old 02-21-2011, 03:18 AM   #2
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Cilantro/coriander bolts quicker than Usain, try the seed "chechnya" and plant at 1 to 2 week intervals in a shady spot.

Cheats trick, over here in the supermarkets you can buy very cheap pots of Cilantro, buy a pot put it outside to harden off for a few days then split into 4 clumps and repot into the same size pot as the original or into your soil.
The strongest flavor is in the root I use the leaf as a garnish, so as it is nearly impossible to stop it Usaining I grow it in pots, let it bolt then wash and dry the roots and buy a pack of leaves from the s/market
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:04 AM   #3
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This one cracks me up. I cannot grow it on purpose to save my life, it bolts within weeks. And I've tried to grow it in so many places you wouldn't believe. But oddities occur. Right now I have a bunch I just am clipping at the bottom and keeping like it was a bouquet of flowers. I swear the darned bunch is living longer than any I've kept in the ground.

Once my husband was mowing the lawn and came in and asked me, "Claire, isn't this an herb?" Yeah, it's cilantro. It was Florida, and I couldn't grow it in my garden to save my life, but a wild seed from the garden planted itself in the middle of the yard. It lived on for a year or so. Whenever hubby went to mow the yard, I'd go out and harvest this one cilantro plant. Then he'd mow the yard, and a week later I'd have more cilantro. It was so weird.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:00 PM   #4
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I sow the seeds so the plants are shaded by other plants...still bolts.

I did buy a bunch for the mussels the other day. I had my menu planned so put the rest in the dehydrator. I've frozen it in the past, I've made a "paste" out of it (added a little water and froze that), and this time I dehydrated the leaves. They have a lot of flavor...I still prefer fresh, but I hate throwing it out and hate that it bolts. I suspect I'll be dehydrating it this summer before it bolts...
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:08 PM   #5
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I like frozen rather than drying when it comes to cilantro. I freeze into a sort of "pesto" with southeast Asian or Mexican spices, nuts, oils, etc. Then a dollop can go into a curry (when you think of it, the Asian I make is actually a kind of green curry paste) or chili or sauce. It tastes more like cilantro to me than dry.

I'm the same with basil. Frozen pesto combinations taste better than dry.
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:28 PM   #6
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I do prefer freezing to drying; it seems there is no "no bolting" trick, though I appreciate the ideas on preserving and dividing.
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:22 PM   #7
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I love cilantro, even as part of the greens in green salads. I also have no luck growing the stuff though.
I hope I don't sound dumb, but I have no idea what the word bolts means in this context. Can someone explain for me?
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
I love cilantro, even as part of the greens in green salads. I also have no luck growing the stuff though.
I hope I don't sound dumb, but I have no idea what the word bolts means in this context. Can someone explain for me?
Flowering.

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Old 03-07-2011, 02:12 PM   #9
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How we all would love it to look in our gardens:



Bolted cilantro:

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Old 03-07-2011, 02:38 PM   #10
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Ahhhhhhh haaaaaaa.........thanks to both of you. Yep, mine just flowers and looks like the second picture.
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