Surprising Cilantro

I’ve been planting cilantro for years, enjoying the young, lower leaves in salsa, pad thai, and other yummy international dishes. I’ve always cursed when it would flower and go to seed, I’d pull it up and plant something else in its space. I even bought “large leaf” cilatnro seed, with promises from the seed catalog (oh, seed catalog writers, let me believe your sweet, sweet, lies…) that it was “slow to bolt.” Bolting means flowering and going to seed.
But this year, I let the cilantro in the boy’s garden flower, and it is lovely- cilantro is umbelliferous, cousin to carrots, queen anne’s lace and yarrow- beautiful white flowers that dance on the wind. Now, the seeds are forming, and once they turn brown, I’ll harvest the them. At this point, they’re called coriander, for some reason. I’ll plant some next spring, and use the seeds this winter to put in dry rubs, stir fries and maybe bread…I wonder if they’ll sprout, like alfalfa sprouts….that might be weird, actually,on a sandwich. Anyone tried sprouting coriander?

The leaves are called cilantro, and used in ethnic cooking

You can see why the type of plant is called "umbelliferae" the flowers come out of the stem in a shape like an umbrella.


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