CO­RIAN­DER (CILANTRO) Co­rian­drum sativum

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Plants With A Purpose -

Love it or hate it! There’s no mid­dle ground with co­rian­der – in south­east Asian cui­sine it is a favourite. Herba­ceous, spicy and pun­gent co­rian­der en­livens Viet­namese dishes and Thai cur­ries where the root is in­cluded (see the Thai Green Curry Paste recipe), and the bright green leaves are a pop­u­lar fresh gar­nish in Can­tonese cui­sine.

Chop coarsely rather than finely, and save the root for cur­ries.

Co­rian­der-lov­ing cooks have an in­sa­tiable de­mand for co­rian­der so choose slow-bolt va­ri­eties for good leaf growth, and sow regularly in short rows 20cm apart. Seeds are long-lived and can be bought in bulk.

Tap-rooted co­rian­der is best sown di­rectly into the gar­den, as trans­plants tend to go to seed (bolt) more quickly. High tem­per­a­tures or wa­ter stress also in­duce bolt­ing. Leaf pro­duc­tion is bet­ter in cooler tem­per­a­tures and can be ex­tended by pinch­ing out any feath­ery cen­tre stalks.

In frosty ar­eas, co­rian­der grows well in a green­house or un­der cloches.

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