Grow some Latin flavor with fresh cilantro from your herb garden
My mom has the most amazing green thumb I've ever encountered. I am always jealous of how easy it is for her to take care of plants, how she knows just the right thing to do to help them grow and flourish. I especially loved how she would start growing an herb garden every spring and infuse all of her dishes with delicious fresh Latin herbs, like cilantro and parsley.
Now that I'm cooking for myself and constantly learning, I've wanted to grow my own herb garden but was always afraid. I definitely don't have a green thumb the way mami does. I killed a couple cactuses in college and gave up trying after that. But there's nothing like having some fresh cilantro on my favorite carnitas tacos or other yummy Latin dishes. That's why I'm learning how to grow cilantro in my very own herb garden—and you can, too!
Read more ¿Qué más? 3 slow cooker carnitas taco recipes you'll love.
How to Grow Cilantro From Seeds (Gardening instructions courtesy of eHow.com)
1. Choose a spot in your garden that is well drained and receives full to partial sun. Cilantro will grow in most soil conditions.
2. Sow cilantro seeds on the top of the bed and lightly cover with soil after all danger of frost has passed. Water thoroughly.
3. Thin plants to 6 inches apart after the plants have two to three sets of leaves. Water once or twice a week during dry periods.
4. Add a general-purpose fertilizer mid-season to ensure rich foliage.
5. Harvest the leaves as needed by pinching off. Coriander seeds can be harvest in the second year after the flower heads form. Cut the flower stem off and hang to dry over a bucket or other container. The drying seeds will fall into the bucket. You can use the seeds in cooking or replant them for future crops.
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Cilantro's hugely popular in Mexican cooking but I haven't shied away from putting it on some of my other Latin favorites, even by abuela's favorite rice and beans dish. If you're thinking of growing some other Latin herbs (I know I am), I would go for saffron (though it's tricky), parsley (perfect for chimichurri sauce) or one of these other herbs for Latin cooking. I'll definitely be starting my own little Latin herb garden this Spring and indulging in some of my favorites.
Do you cook with dried herbs? Have you tried growing your own fresh herbs in a Spring garden?
Image via looseends/flickr