Cilantro is the leaves and stems of the coriander plant. While it closely resembles flat leaf parsley in appearance, it has a distinct flavour that pairs well with spicy foods and tropical fruits. It is commonly included in curries and Mexican food.
Fun fact: Did you know that the coriander spice comes from the seed of the same plant?
Varieties: Cilantro is in the same family as culantro, however they are actually completely different plants.
To prepare fresh cilantro place in a large bowl filled with cold water. Gently swish the leaves around to release any dirt, then drain and gently pat dry. Since both the leaves and the stem can be eaten, you can use cilantro whole or use a chef or ceramic knife to mince it into smaller pieces.
Cilantro can transform an average salsa, chutney, sauce or salad into something bold and exciting. Try adding chopped cilantro to a pineapple and mango salsa, along with finely chopped sweet Vidalia onion and serve with fish or chicken.
According to the Canadian Nutrient File, nutritional value per approximately 5 sprigs (10 g) of fresh cilantro using the daily recommended intake from Health Canada: 39% of Vitamin K, 10% of Vitamin A, 5% of Vitamin C, and 3% of folate.