Growing cilantro

glendanc(z8NC)January 23, 2007

I'm zone 8 half hour from the coast in Newport, NC by Morehead City. I think cilantro is a cool weather herb because it gets nasty when it's hot. Anyone have any input on growing it during the cool months here, in containers, etc.? I do a lot of ethnic cooking. Thanx!

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It will grow like a weed during the winter so you could just designate a section of your garden for it. Mine is up now from seeds that fell from the mother plant last fall. I guess they sprouted during one of those warm spells.

This year I am gonna try growing Culantro during the summer since Cilantro can't take the heat. It is a similar tasting herb but not related at all.

When I was in Puerto Rico I remember a friends yard had Cilantro growing in it so there must be a warm season version of it. It was very strong tasting so a little went a long way.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 9:14AM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

You can grow it in summer, in shade - just resow every few weeks as it will bolt quickly. Buy seeds for a slow bolting variety.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 11:54AM
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Trianglejohn: I've seen your name often on this forum. Assuming your lows up there are colder than what it gets here on the coast. We've hit below freezing a few times. Cilantro survives freezing?? Also a quickie tip that has worked for me is to chop it and put in the freezer for additions to things. Not the same as fresh but always here. Do you do any kind of Mexican peppers like serrano or ancho or problano/poblano [spelling]? Glenda on the coast

    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 8:34AM
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Glenda - I am kind of a fixture here on GW. Its because my job requires me to sit all day and monitor a computer for files coming in from other states. I get to play games or chat online but I can't leave the computer. You'll notice that I rarely post anything over the weekends (I tend to stay as far away from computers as possible during my down time). I live just south of downtown Raleigh in zone 7b. Things survive in my yard that folks on the north side of Raleigh struggle with AND things do better yet at PDN the big fancy plant nursery 10 minutes further south from me.

Cilantro is an all winter long herb around here but it does suffer frost burn on its leaves during really icy or snowy weather. It also stays kinda low to the ground during the winter and fills out during early spring when there is more light as the days lengthen and things warm up. I find that plants over-wintered this way bolt (go to seed) very early if we have a long warm spell in the spring and that plants started in the spring make bigger plants before bolting. To me, a little cilantro goes a long way so I don't try to grow a lot of it and I don't mind picking some up elsewhere during the summer when I want to make salsa if my plants are shot. You'll find that when the plants mature (get taller and the leaves change shape) they get a really strong harsh flavor - some people still eat it then but I don't like it.

I grow a lot of sweet bell peppers. This year I will have a few jalapenos and poblanos (same as anchos) along with the skinny black ones (I can't remember the name but it means 'raisin' in Spanish I think). I have a lot of unusual pepper seeds but my garden isn't big enough to grow them all so we'll see - whatever does the best will tend to dominate the yard.

I like to make Salsa Cruda - the uncooked fresh salsa - during the summer when the temps are hot.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 9:30AM
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sent you two messages to hotmail addy [address] but not finished regarding peppers, etc. thanx for the response. glenda

    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 8:03PM
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triangle: back to the peppers and off the cilantro for a minute... Park's seed catalogue [expensive but much variety] lists many peppers. the hole mole is also a pasilla and turns a deep brown and has a nutty flavor. it is a mainstay for making mole' which is a mexican dip/sauce. the poblano dried is called an ancho. the poblano is the one with the raisin like sweetness. the seranno looks like a skinny jalapeno but hotter. yesterday I was looking at peppers at a grocery store. some were dried and some fresh. I picked a few dried seeds from the bins in the store because I have lots of luck growing seeds from inside both dried and fresh peppers. all of our best plants last year were started using seeds from store bought peppers not purchasing the seeds!! we wound up with sweet reds, hungarians and jalapenos this way! I will plant the poblanos soon as well as some dried cayenne. I picked up dried anaheims too. I winter over pepper plants in containers in the garage with a south facing sun beaming in on them with temps even in the 40's during the day. I have hibiscus in bloom, geraniums and even strawberry plants with fruit on them in January this way!! Inside with a humifier running are a variety of houseplants that sit out during the summer and spring and propagation "central" in a sunny south window in the spare room. I've found that even my testy plants survive the winter in the garage much better than inside [ferns and bougainvillea to name a few]. over and out...

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 6:50AM
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Glenda - I'm not sure where or when I bought all these seed packets but I have probably 25 different types of peppers to grow. My personal favorite is your basic bell pepper, completely ripe (red) and with thick walls. I eat a lot of jalapeno's and may try pickling some this year but I would have to grow a ton of them to can enough for me. I also eat them roasted and stuffed with cheese. The dark thin one I have is Bajio Pasillo. I have sprouted it before but have never sucessfully gotten fruit. I don't have a lot of space so I usually end up growing mostly bells.

I got tired of storing plants in every window or under the house for the winter so I now build a simple pvc pipe hoop house that I heat with a small electric heater just enough to keep it above freezing. I tear the whole thing down each spring and it breaks down into small sections of pipe which I bundle and shove under the house.

I sell plants at the local flea market (and farmer's market) so most of my precious space is devoted to small potted plants.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2007 at 4:39PM
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thus far the old cilantro seeds have not shown their faces in the sunny window but being patient. going to transplant into the garden soon if they do. still have to turn the soil and do additives. have so many hobbies wish I could sell some of my plants like you do. a 24 hour day isn't long enough. looking forward to growing the poblanos. little mexican gal we know loves em and I want to experiment making chili relanos with them. filled with meat and cheese, they are deep fried with an egg batter with stiff egg whites and the yolks. thanx for all the input regarding peppers and cilantro. glenda

    Bookmark   January 31, 2007 at 6:58AM
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Tammy Kennedy

mmmm- drool coming out. nothing better than chile rellenos. real chili rellenos with pobalanos. jsut so ya know, there's one vendor at the state farmer's market each yr that sells poblano pepper plants each yr, and one of the veggie vendors has poblanos in the fall.

cilantro seeds can take an agonizing long time to sprout. they like cool- try popping them in the fridge for a week. i always soak my parsley seed because it takes so lng otherwise.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2007 at 11:18AM
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tamelask: did a quick search and came up with a site run by authentic Mexican gals looks like! check it out. what gets me is we have many people here on the coast from that area yet I find the restaurants fail to duplicate the wonderful flavors that can be reached cooking it at home [if you know how]. the prices are horrible for ingredients that cost very little [tortillas/peppers/cheeses to name a few, so I am working on perfecting my own meals. happy eating and cooking!

Here is a link that might be useful: Rellenos poblanos

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 8:45AM
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I've eaten Chile Rellenos from a bunch of different places including south Texas and Northern Mexico and there are some regional differences. I like the ones with the crunchier egg batter on the pepper. They always look like a lot of work to make but I'm thinking if you spend an afternoon making them you could freeze them for later..... now I'm hungry!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 9:37AM
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did you check out the rellenos poblanos link I posted at the bottom of the post? as in all areas, there are regional differences in manners of cooking. once I master a few things I wish to cook, then I will do some of the regional researching. need to perfect a thin salsa first. have a little mexican gal I know who helps once in awhile and she wants to come over and "cook in MY KITCHEN", vs going out to eat. if I could just learn how to make Dos Equis life would be perfect! ;-) suppose you are going to go out for a mex lunch or want me to email you a few rellenos? ha ha L8r.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 11:00AM
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Tammy Kennedy

thanks for the link- i looked and it sounds like alotta work! lol. i'll just order them from the one mexican restaurant i know uses poblanos! we do stuff pobalnos in the fall, but don't deep fry them. yum! t

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 11:24PM
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I meant that there is a difference in the egg batter, some cooks just cover the pepper with a thin wash of batter while others somehow get a crunchy thick eggy batter to stay on while it fries. Everyone I've ever eaten was made with poblano peppers. In the winter time when it is cold outside - chile rellenos, rice and beans, sour cream and guacamole is at the top of my list.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 9:28AM
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Tammy Kennedy

the el cheapo mexican restaurants typically use regular old green pepper, not pablanos. taquerias arandas here up the rd on 401 uses real chiles, though.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2007 at 10:59PM
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looks like "cilantro" started a Mexican cooking thread! ha ha. Something else I do which is YUMMY is to take Hungarian/Anaheims/or jalapenos and slice in half lengthwise. remove seeds. rinse if you don't like much hot. dry really good with paper towels. stuff with cream cheese [lower fat works too]. stick in the freezer for a while. without thawing, dip into either an egg mixture and cracker crumbs [nabisco is good], bread crumbs [Italian is nice too] OR a beer batter or onion ring batter you get in a package. deep fry quickly. cheese will ooze out if not removed before it melts inside the coating. homemade poppers!! they call me LE COOK.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 8:55AM
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dogridge(7b nc)

back to the cilantro- I planted some this fall and was convinced the seeds were bad. That is until about 1 mo ago when the sprouted. I think it took 2 months for them to germinate! Maybe it was that cold snap that got them going.

BTW- why is it that cilantro grows in cool weather, tomatoes in hot, but you need both for good salsa?? I would love a source for the culantro mentioned by TJ. I think he daid it tolerates warmer temps.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 9:20PM
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This summer I am gonna try both. I'll sprout Cilantro inside under lights and move it outside to grow and harvest before the heat does it in. I'll also try to find some seed for Culantro as a back up.

I think I saw seed for Culantro in either Johnny's or Territorial Seed catalog.

I remember reading somewhere that some people didn't like the taste of Culantro and they thought it was nothing like Cilantro.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 9:21AM
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believe I mentioned above that I chop and freeze cilantro for use when I "just want it handy". the flavor doesn't seem to be any different frozen. have availability to buy it whenever I wish however I cook on whims sometimes and have just about anything I want stored. working on finding tahini right now [will make my own if I cannot get it or buy from Lebanese restaurant]. last night [TJ] finally got the rellenos made. turned out fabulous! only prob was I didn't blacken the skins enough to slip off easily but didn't seem to matter. batter was not crunchy like you say you prefer [will deep fry next time maybe]. made pinto bean HOMEMADE refried beans, homemade salsa [quick version], pico de gallo with avocado and Mexican style salmon [all as authenic as I could with time envolved]. first attempt was just great! cilantro seed busted out this a.m. finally and starting some cole crops a bit late tomorrow. g.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 9:00PM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

I think to make the thicker batter you need to double batter. To do that you use whatever breading you like, then dip in an eggwash and roll it in your breading again.

I've been collecting cilantro recipes for my son... here are a few that cilantro lovers might enjoy. I think some tahini added in would be good too and might mellow it some. You could freeze the cilantro pesto and then just add some of that to fresh salsa once it's too hot to grow it around here.

Cilantro Pesto

3 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cups fresh cilantro, lightly packed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice (I think half lime would be lovely too)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Place the garlic and cilantro in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. With the processor running, slowly add the oils, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth.

Place the pesto in an airtight container and freeze for up to 4 months. To thaw, microwave on low for 2 to 3 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings

Cilantro Pesto

2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup almonds, cashews, or other nuts
1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons olive oil
Celtic Sea Salt to taste Blend the cilantro and olive oil in a blender, add other ingredients to make a nice smooth paste, then go ahead and add some nuts and/or seeds: pistachio, cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds. Cayenne pepper added to anything has a synergistic effect, making all the other ingredients work better.

Cilantro Pesto

4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup Brazil nuts (selenium)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds (cysteine)
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (zinc, magnesium)
2 cups packed fresh cilantro (vitamin A)
2/3 cup flaxseed oil (omega's)
4 tablespoons lemon juice (vitamin C)
2 tsp dulse powder (minerals)
Sea salt to taste (minerals)

Process the cilantro and flaxseed oil in a blender until the coriander is chopped. Add the garlic, nuts and seeds, dulse and lemon juice and mix until the mixture is finely blended into a paste. Add a pinch to sea salt to taste and blend again. Freezes well

Cilantro-Pepita Dressing

1 medium Anaheim Chili, roasted -- peeled and seeded
3 tablespoons Roasted pumpkin seeds (Shelled) -- (pepitas)
1 large Clove garlic (increase to taste)
1/8 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper (or Cayenne Pepper)
1/2 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
3/4 cup Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons Grated cotija cheese
1 small Bunch cilantro -- stemmed (Better still, a packed cup of cilantro leaves)
3/4 cup Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Water

Note: If cotija cheese is unavailable, use any hard grating cheese, such as cacique or even Parmesan.

Place chili, pepitas, garlic, pepper, salt, oil, vinegar and cotija cheese in blender or food processor. Blend about 10 seconds, then add cilantro, bit by bit, until smoothly blended. Place mayonnaise and water in large stainless-steel bowl and whisk until smooth. Add blended chili mixture and mix thoroughly.

Place in airtight container and refrigerate. Dressing may be stored up to three days. Makes about 2 cups.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 12:05PM
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i like to grow cilantro with coriander cilantro lover........could anyone suggest me how many coriander seeds i hav to use to grow cilantro........and also hw to plant them..........

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 7:00PM
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I can't grow cilantro here but culantro does well. I eat stems and all, referring to the question of the long stems with small leaves. There are Caribbean and Mexican versions of things like tarragon, etc. that will grow well in this heat.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 2:13PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

Funny it is a cool season plant when it is so popular in Mexican and Indian cooking. I wonder if there are varieties that take warmer weather.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 7:48PM
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