Turning Cilantro Into Sauce

A Karen’s Corner Blogette

By Karen Dunn

Do you have an abundance of cilantro right now?  Every year I make cilantro sauce and freeze it to use throughout the year.  Scroll through the photos below and read the captions to see what I did:

Harvesting tips:

If cilantro is properly harvested you should get a second crop. Cutting it instead of pulling it out will allow the next flush of leaves to come up.

Although it is tempting to do some weeding while picking your cilantro… don’t do it!  Dirt from pulling weeds will dirty your greens.  If you harvest carefully you won’t have to wash the cilantro at all.  Washing cilantro diminishes the flavor so don’t wash it if you don’t have to.  The stems contain most of the flavor so be sure to use them too.

CILANTRO SAUCE

Ingredients:

3 – 4 garlic cloves (or to taste)

2 jalapeno peppers  (or to taste)

2 bunches of cilantro

½  cup lime juice

¼  cup olive oil

1 tsp salt – or less or none

Directions:

  • Soak the limes in hot water and then roll them around on the counter before you squeeze them to get maximum juice.
  • Mince and chop the garlic and peppers in a food processer or by hand. 
  • Add lime juice, olive oil and salt.
  • Then add cilantro and pulse until desired consistency is reached, or chop finely by hand and stir in.
  • Use within 1 week or freeze to use throughout the year.

Tip: If you are doing a triple batch as I have done… process all your garlic & peppers first and add the lime juice and olive oil and salt.  Then pour this into a measuring cup and use it to process the cilantro in batches pouring in the liquid as needed.  Mix all together when everything is processed.

Some Ideas for what to do with Cilantro Sauce:

  • Add to pasta for a quick pasta sauce
  • A spoonful in chicken soup is a game changer!
  • Add it to stir-fries
  • Add it to barbecue marinade recipes
  • It’s great on fish, pork or chicken
  • Use it in Thai-style recipes
  • Use it in recipes that call for fresh cilantro

More Tips: You can add a squirt of fresh lime juice or ginger or more jalapeño at cooking time to make it taste even fresher. It’s easy to break a chunk off your frozen pack and can be added frozen to whatever you are making or set in a small bowl to thaw. Either way, it thaws out quickly. Reseal your bag and return it to the freezer.

HERE is one of our favourite chicken recipes. We substitute cilantro sauce for the coriander root and usually only marinate for 2 hours. We just use the marinade for the sauce and don’t bother with the sauce part of the recipe. You can BBQ the marinated chicken or cook in the oven at 350 F.

Karen Dunn gardens on Quadra Island all year long and loves to share her tips and tricks for making your garden awesome!

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