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Monday, March 12, 2012


To mention you hate cilantro in mixed company,
which is to say any company really, is to
immediately incur the fierce judgment and opposition
of many.

drawing and quote from:


Good morning, All.  If you were able to make it to Mineola, Texas for the Wood County Master Gardener event....well, you will know as well I that it was quite successful, lots of folks getting ready for spring planting!  I shared a booth with Nancy and Carl of Falster Farm.  They raise miniature Herefords and are representatives of the Weston A. Price Foundation for Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts which we will talk about on another post.

And if you have run across me at the Farmer's Market or the Master Gardener booth, you know I love to talk about herbs and herbal healing and using herbs for nutrition, and so on and so forth.  Oh, and if I get carried away and you just stopped by for a quick purchase, but you would like to talk about herbs and herbal healing and using herbs for nutrition, and so on and so forth, please know you can make an appointment with me and come on out to the ranch for a cup of tea.

Okay, now back to business.....Cilantrophobia?  Yes, where ever I may appear with my herbs and herbal concoctions, people love to ask me questions.  One of the questions I have been asked lately is about Cilantro and why does the dadgum stuff bolt (flower) so quickly.  Well, folks, Cilantro will go to flower as soon as the temperature gets about 75 degrees.  I have tried for years to get cilantro to grow during the summer.  What I suggest to people is to plant seeds every 2 weeks.  You will get a small growth of the green stuff before it bolts, if you want it during the summer which most folks do.  And don't worry about planting it in pretty rows.  Plant it in amongst the flowers, try it in partial shade, or plant it at random among the veggies.  Okay, so for a couple weeks you put it in every 2 weeks, now you have done better than I have.

Let me tell you what happened to me and my Cilantro this year.  I had a beautiful crop of Cilantro that was just insistent on becoming Coriander seeds (the by product of Cilantro) which in itself is not a bad thing.  I kept cutting the plants back, then in November I was called away for an 8 week pet sit. Well the garden basically went unattended.....until one day, I was wandering around what was still green and Lo and Behold a whole raised bed full of baby Cilantro plants!

We have eaten Cilantro all winter!  Tons of it!  And since last week the temps got up to the 80's, yes, the plants are now sending up flower stalks.  Morale of this story?  If you want Coriander seeds (which are delicious ground on anything that sits still long enough for you to put it on) grow Cilantro during the summer and let it bolt.  Then let all those lovely, delicious seeds dry on the plant.  Put the dried coriander seeds in a peppercorn grinder and use like you would ground pepper.  If you want the fresh Cilantro leaves, well, grow it all winter here in the South.  And now you can make Cilantro pesto or Chimichurri Sauce from those leaves.  Freeze fresh cilantro, leftover sauce or pesto in ice cube trays to be used later.

Cilantro Pesto (Rexanne Meaux, Texas Coop Power magazine)
2 Cloves garlic
6 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (I leave this out)
2 Cups fresh Cilantro, hard packed
1/2 cup olive oil  (I don't use this much oil, I kinda just "eyeball" it!)
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts (I leave this out, maybe substitute sun dried tomatoes)
1 teaspoon pepper flakes
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt

Puree all ingredients in food processor until it reaches the consistency of a sauce.  Transfer to a bowl.  Pesto will keep in an airtight container in frig for up to 3 days.

This is the recipe I prefer!

Chimichurri Sauce (Ellie Krieger So Easy)

1/3 cup packed fresh cilantro (I have used frozen, too)
1/3 cup packed fresh Italian parsley (or curly or chickweed, whatever green you have works)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large garlic clove
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I also use the vinegar off the canned banana peppers or jalapenos)
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt

Puree all ingredients in food processor until it reaches the consistency of a sauce.  Transfer to a bowl.  Sauce will keep in an airtight container in frig for up to 3 days.

We use this sauce on steak, hamburgers, veggie burgers, chicken, tacos, eggs, and veggies.  In other words, just about everything!
This photo is titled "Julia sans chicken",
but I rather think she is telling some
poor cilantro lover exactly what
she would do with that nasty
Cilantro they put in her salad.
Dear Julia was like that you know....
photo borrowed from

And if you have Cilantrophobia.....well, substitute Parsley or any other mild green herb in the above recipes.

Now for those of you who HATE cilantro, well, you are in good company.  The esteemed Chef Julia Child said she would pick cilantro out of her food and throw it on the floor if served food containing the stuff.  Josh from National Public Radio had these quotes from his program...."It has that same sort of acrid sweetness of death,"  according to my friend Jason.  "It's got this evilness to it," my friend Wendy concurs."  Yikes!

"Scientists believe that people's preference for or, alternatively extreme dislike of cilantro may actually be genetically determined.  What's more:  People who hate cilantro may, in fact, have a mutated gene.  Here's Charles J. Wysocki, a scientist who's been studying the polarizing nature of the green herb, attempting to explain why some people detest it so strongly;

What we think might be happening is the person who hates cilantro is, in fact, detecting the soapy odor.   But what they seem to be missing is the nice, aromatic, green component....It's possible that they have a mutated or even an absent receptor gene for the receptor protein that would interact with the very pleasant smelling compound."

Okay, all you folks who cannot stand Cilantro, if some well meaning Cilantro lover gives you that "What planet are you from look," when you say "Ahhh, please don't put that green stuff on my food!"  You can tell them "I am genetically predisposed to hate the stuff."  Then you can really enjoy the "deer in the headlights" look they are going to give you!

Enough for today!  I hope where ever you may be the weather is as beautiful as it is here in Texas today!  If you can, get outside, go for a walk, take the dog, he/she will love it!  If you have kids or grandkids or adopted grandkids, take them outside!  Enjoy the day, Susan

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.
Sir Winston Churchill

Cash and Redman
These two feel in love at first sight!


  1. Whoops, tried it again, and it worked. I'm really enjoying your blog, Susan! It leaves me feeling "warm and fuzzy" inside. Such beautiful photos! Thanks for doing this! Happy St. Patrick's Day! Marlena

    1. Marlena, I am not sure why you came up as anonymous, but oh, well, I know it is you! Warm and Fuzzy is good, I am so happy the blog effects you that way. It brings me great joy, too! Watch for next week's post, I am a little late, but there will be some things related to St. Patrick's Day! Love your comments always, Susan

  2. I plant my cilantro in the fall and most of the time it makes it through the winter. And, yes, again this year I have too much cilantro.

    It was good to see you at the Wood County Master Gardener's Conference. I so enjoyed the presentations and vendors.

    1. Ann, the Master Gardener Conference was great! I really enjoyed being a vendor! Keep planting Cilantro....if you try the Chimichurri recipe, let me know what you think! Love your comments always, Susan