Cilantro is one of those herbs that you either love it or you hate it. To 10% of the population it tastes like soap. I believe the majority of my family must be of that 10% since they never cooked with it. I tried it for the first time in Dominican Republic and have enjoyed it ever since. 

Cilantro and Coriander come from the same plant but describe different parts of the plant. The name Cilantro is used when you used the leafy part and Coriander is the term for the dried seeds of the plant. 

Cilantro is an annual herb that will self seed if you allow it to. Very easy to grow and requires very little help from you as a gardener. 

In the Springtime when the threat of frost has passed, sow directly into the soil. It prefers more sandy or loam like soil. It struggles a bit in hard clay (as do most plants). It requires full sun yet will tolerate partial shade. 

Once the season has become too warm then the plant will bolt. This sends all the energy from the plant from the leaves into making seeds. 

I cut my whole plant down, leaving about 4-6 inches of growth on the bottom. I then process the herb into a pesto and freeze it into cubes. In about 1-2 weeks the plant will regrow and bolt due to the heat. You can then harvest the seeds in late August or September to save for next year as well as culinary uses. 

The oils in the plant are at their peak in the late Spring. You can try and dehydrate the leaves but I wouldn't recommend it. The flavour is never intense and it truly is suited more to a pesto. You can use cilantro in marinades for pork, beef or chicken. It is well suited for herbal butters, salsa's, Mexican and Thai Foods. To make a pesto from your cilantro you can find my recipe HERE. 

Medicinally, Cilantro has been used to detoxify. Researchers have found that by consuming 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro stems and leaves per day (I'd probably juice it into a smoothie) it removes heavy metals and neurotoxins within 3 weeks. That should help clear brain fog!