Which herb comes to mind when described as "Polarising"? Whether you love it or hate it, CORIANDER is one of the most versatile and useful herbs in any herb garden.
Some quick facts about coriander
Coriander is an annual
It's easy to grow as seed likes to be directly sown into the garden
Coriander is suitable for growing in containers
....which gives you the option to place your container close to the kitchen for easy access
Sow and harvest as a microgreen
....great sown a little thicker and cut at baby stage to use in salads or as a garnish
check out our microgreens category for bigger pack sizes
All parts of the coriander plant can be used; seeds, roots, stems & leaves
Harvest in approx 40 days from direct sowing.
HOW TO GROW CORIANDER
Sow directly. (Transplanted coriander can tend to bolt due to its roots being disturbed)
Dig and loosen soil well before sowing. Digging in some compost where you intend to plant your coriander is a great idea as an initial feed. Water the soil well, plant the seed ½ cm deep and water again. Coriander likes moisture so be careful not to let the soil dry out. If your coriander bolts to seed it is likely to be due to a lack of water during the warmer months of the year.
Coriander is great for growing all year round, but during the cooler months is perfect as it is less prone to bolting. Just watch that you don't overwater during autumn and winter.
A feed of liquid fertiliser every couple of weeks will help to keep your plants lush and productive.
Once you have had the best out of your coriander crop you can let it go to seed. I like to do this regularly in my herb garden as the flowering plants provide a good source of food for the insects and the flowers are rather pretty.
If you have let it go to flower, harvest the flowers which are edible plus you can then save the seed for your next crop.
HOW TO USE CORIANDER IN YOUR COOKING
My rule of thumb is to use it like parsley as it is very compatible with most flavours.
The leaves are great as a herb to throw in your salads. Just pick it and roughly rip the leaves to release the flavour and aroma.
Sprinkle the chopped leaves and stalks on top of any Asian dish such as curries, laksa, stir-fry, Thai soup, risotto.
Use when making your favourite salsa recipe.
Use the root chopped or grated to add flavour to stews, soups and casseroles. The roots can be stored in the freezer (best used within 6 months).
The seeds can be ground to use as a spice. The flavour is particularly enhanced when toasted prior to grinding. They are also added whole to pickling brines.
SOME FAVOURITE RECIPES:
Prawn Salad with Coriander dressing
6-8 prawns per serving
1 cup of salad greens/microgreens
2 lime wedges
1/4 cup good quality oil, (olive, sunflower, The Good Oil)
1 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp grated ginger
3 Tbsp chopped coriander
1. Wash greens and arrange on plate
2. Stir-fry prawns until just cooked and allow to cool slightly
3. Mix all dressing ingredients in a jug or shaker
4. Drizzle over salad greens and mix
5. Add prawns and lime wedges and drizzle with a little more dressing
Approximately 2 cups loosely packed coriander leaves & stalks
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup pine nuts
2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled
salt & pepper, to taste
1. Whizz all of the above in a blender or food processor to the smoothness you prefer.
(The first picture in this blog is a salad with coriander leaves and pasta tossed in this pesto)