I absolutely LOVE fresh cilantro. Fresh salsa made with fresh tomatoes and cilantro are one of summer's best treats. What has happened in my garden is that the cilantro has started growing since spring and tomatoes are not ready until late in the summer. Certainly I can go to the grocery store and purchase tomatoes for salsa, but when I am growing my own garden, something about that feels a little anti climatic. Also there seems to be more cilantro than I know what to do with - and I am not about to go canning salsa if it isnt from my own tomatoes. That just feels wrong some how. Anyway - what can you do with all this abundant cilantro?
One thing that I did was mix it with my basil for a cilantro infused pesto. I took the cilantro (stems and all) and other abundant items in the garden such as basil, parsley, garlic scapes and combined them with pine nuts and olive oil in my food processor. This created a lovely pesto paste to be enjoyed with crackers or other veggies! My dad even used the pesto like a sauce with grilled chicken in lettuce wraps.
Another use of abundant cilantro before salsa making season is with Indian food. A little tiki marsala chicken with cilantro severed with yogurt and naan - mmm.
What if you don't pick the cilantro in time? Did you know it turns into coriander? In this video Joan from A Backyard Farm talks about how cilantro turns to coriander!