Fresh cilantro comes from the leaves of a coriander plant. Cilantro is used in a variety of dishes from Mexican to Asian cuisine.  The word “cilantro” is actually Spanish for “coriander leaves”.  Fresh coriander has a bold flavor that’s often described as a fragrant mix of citrus and pepper. Dried coriander is very different in usage and taste, it has a piney flavor with hints of lemon and pepper.  It goes well in bean dips, rice, soups and homemade salsa. Fresh cilantro pairs well with avocado, corn, chicken, bell peppers, sour cream and tomatoes, just to name a few. Homegrown herbs add a visual contrast while working as a nice garnish on casseroles, soups and dips. 

In the United States, coriander typically refers to the seed or the ground spice.  If you use dried coriander in place of fresh cilantro the general rule is 1 teaspoon dried for every one tablespoon of fresh.  However, it’s wise to stick with what a recipe calls for concerning herbs, particularly cilantro. Dried herbs incorporate into a recipe in a different manner than fresh. As you plan new summer recipes, consider trying fresh and dried coriander to see which flavor combination you like best.  

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