Fresh cilantro, also called coriander, is a wonderful herb that is used in every thing from Mexican-style salsas to Middle Eastern dishes to Thai soups. Unfortunately, it doesn't dry as well as other leafy herbs do, and it doesn't keep long in the fridge. Here's an easy way to preserve the flavor of fresh cilantro.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1/2 cup - recipe can be doubled
1/2 cup fresh, finely chopped cilantro leaves and stems
- 2 tablespoons kosher or other non-iodized, medium grain salt
Unless you grow your own and can pick just what you need, you may find yourself wasting both food and money by throwing out past-its-prime cilantro. This herb salt is an easy way to make use of leftover fresh cilantro.
The amounts given are for 1/2 cup of cilantro salt, but you can multiply the amount so long as you stick to the ratio of 4 parts finely chopped, loosely packed cilantro to 1 part salt.
Cilantro is notorious for having dirt clinging to it. Wash the cilantro well by holding the stem end of a bunch and swishing it in a large bowl or sink full of cold water. Repeat with clean water until grit no longer appears on the bottom. Pat the bunch of cilantro mostly dry between paper towels or a clean dish towel.
Finely chop (mince) the fresh cilantro. A food processor comes in handy for this.
Measure the cilantro after it is chopped. For every 4 parts of loosely packed fresh, finely chopped herb add 1 part kosher or other non-iodized salt (iodized salt could discolor the herb salt). Stir until well combined.
Pack into a clean glass jar, cover, and store in the refrigerator.
To use, leave out any other salt called for in the recipe you are making. Add to sauces instead of plain salt. Make a simple but delicious dip by adding 3/4 teaspoon of cilantro salt plus 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt to 1 1/2 cups of sour cream, creme fraiche, yogurt, or labneh.
Tip: The same 4 to 1 ratio of fresh ingredients to salt can be used to create other wonderful herbal salts with herbs that don't dry well, such as cilantro, basil, chives, parsley and rosemary.