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Cilantro

Facts:

Cilantro, also known as coriander, is in the parsley family.

Cilantro and coriander are two terms that are easily confused. Cilantro is the name of the green leaves and it produces aromatic seeds called coriander. Cilantro has a pungent citrusy aroma and taste. Use the leaves to add flavor to salsas, soups, salads, and beans.

Cilantro is packed with minerals like potassium, a component of cell and body fluids that control heart rate and blood pressure, and iron which is essential to red blood cell production. It has zero cholesterol, full of antioxidants, essential oils, and a considerable amount of vitamin A. Cilantro is the richest herbal source of vitamin K, which is involved in building bone mass and also in treating Alzheimer's disease.

Prep Tips:

Fresh cilantro should be washed right before using since it is highly fragile. The best way to clean cilantro is by placing it in a bowl of cold water and swishing it around with your hands. Place on paper towels to dry.

Storage Tips:

Since cilantro is highly perishable, you should always store in a plastic bag inside your refrigerator. Cilantro will last about three days in the refrigerator.

Cilantro may also be frozen, either whole or chopped, in airtight containers, yet should not be thawed before use since it will lose much of its crisp texture. You can also place cilantro in ice cube trays covered with either water or stock that can be added to meals at a later time.

Harvest Season:

June - November

Farm Recipe:

Fresh Summer Salsa

6 medium fresh tomatoes (diced)
1 medium red onion (diced)
1 large green pepper (diced)
2-3 hot chili peppers (diced)
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro (chopped)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
3 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt

Combine in bowl. Let stand 30 minutes and serve

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