Cilantro is one of the most popular herbs in the garden. It quickly goes to flower, so we plant multiple crops of cilantro throughout the CSA season. Currently, the best cilantro patch to pick is in the top row (the row starts with the dahlias) all the way at the back of the garden. Often you either love cilantro or despise it, so just know it can usually be substituted in recipes with parsley. Cilantro is common in Asian and Mexican dishes and is a staple in many salsa recipes.
Cherry Tomato Salsa
- 1-pint cherry tomatoes
- ¼ white onion
- 2 jalapeño peppers
- 2 cloves garlic (smashed, peeled, and minced)
- 1 lime, juiced
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp salt plus extra to taste
- ⅛ tsp black pepper plus extra to taste
- ⅛ tsp dried oregano or a few leaves fresh
- 1 cup fresh chopped cilantro or to taste
- optional additional tomatoes for topping
- Preheat oven to broil on high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and spritz with your favorite spray oil.
- Decide if you want mild, medium, or spicy salsa. This salsa leans a bit on the spicier side, as we’re using two jalapeños with all their spicy seeds intact. It’s my perfect level of spiciness! Slice jalapeño peppers into discs for more roasting surface area.
- For mild salsa, you can 100% halve your jalapeños before slicing and scoop out all the seeds and “veins” to nix a good portion of the spice. Find it too mild like this? Save the seeds and add them to taste to get your perfect level of spice.
- Spread your tomatoes, onion, and jalapeños onto the lightly oiled pan and cook for 5 minutes.
- Then carefully rotate the pan 180° and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until veggies are charred to your liking. If cooking on the center oven rack, you’ll want to increase the cooking time by an extra 5-10 minutes.
- Allow veggies to cool slightly then carefully transfer to a food processor or blender. Be sure to transfer all the juices as well.
- Toss everything but the cilantro in the food processor and pulse a few times and blend to your favorite level of smoothness or chunkiness. I blend mine pretty smooth so the onion and jalapeno are minced, then chop up extra tomatoes extra fine and sprinkle them on top for a little chunkiness. Love it so!
- Finely chop your cilantro leaves and fold them into the salsa.
- Cover and chill in the fridge until the desired temperature is reached (I also adore it at room temperature or slightly warm – SO GOOD!) and dive in face first with some crispy tortilla chips.
Recipe yields approx. 2 cups of salsa
Coriander is actually the seed that cilantro produces after flowering. Our first cilantro patch flowered and is now marked as coriander. Coriander can be ground up and has a slightly sour taste. It pairs well with apples, beef, chicken, citrus fruit, eggs, ham, lentils, onions, plums, pork, and potatoes. Herbs and spices that pair well include cinnamon, cloves, cumin, garlic, ginger, fennel, and nutmeg.
Cutting instructions: Coriander should be harvested when the cilantro has since flowered and the seeds appear slightly brown (the image you see for this blog post of coriander is still too green to be harvested). Snip the stem of the cilantro plant and hang it upside-down in a paper bag. Store in a cool, dry place and as the seeds ripen they will fall off into the bag. Crush the seeds to use in recipes.
Coriander Vinaigrette Recipe
- 1 1/2 tablespoons crushed coriander seeds
- 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
In a small skillet, toast the coriander seeds until very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a medium bowl and add the vinegar, shallot, garlic, and cilantro. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the oil and whisk until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. (Original Recipe)
Try using this dressing on chopped veggies from the CSA, like the tomatoes and peppers for a summer salad!