Lacto-fermented Cilantro

Pickled Green Coriander Seed

On the risk of upsetting those out there in cyberspace that hate cilantro, I have to say I love cilantro. There is some talk that there is a genetic component to the taste of cilantro that insights hatred. If this is you, you will not be interested in this entry. Instead you might want check out the website out there for cilantro haters.

Since I love cilantro, I am always disappointed when my cilantro plants begin to bolt. The leaves get thin as the plant reaches up to flower and go to seed. When this happens I can no longer snip the leaves adding to recipes at will.  This happens even when I grow an abundant amount,which means I have extra leaves that I could preserve. I have to face that the sensitive aromatic oils that give cilantro its flavor, disappear when dried. There is no sense in saving the extra.

My latest culinary experiments with lactic acid fermentation include pot herbs and aromatics, not in sauerkraut but by themselves. I have a collection of concentrated herb and spice pastes in my refrigerator that add instant fresh flavor to many meals.
In the last few weeks I discovered two things: a way to preserve the leaf and the aromatic flavor of green coriander seed.

Harvest these seeds while they are undeveloped and verdant. They are still soft, unlike coriander and the flavor lingers somewhere between the coriander it is becoming and the green fresh flavor of the cilantro it was.The seeds are only in this magical state for a few days, as they keep marching towards the mature coriander seed.

This is a new favorite. Unfortunately you need access to a nice bed of cilantro that is going to seed. You will want as many green coriander seeds as you can pick.  I was able to pick about a 1/2 a cup. You can also pick and save the green seeds in the refrigerator for a day or two while more mature.

Lacto-fermented Cilantro Paste

As much as you can pick, or 2 - 3 bunches of cilantro leaf. Finely chop the leaves. Put into a bowl and sprinkle with about a 1/2 teaspoon good salt, such as Redmond Real Salt. Mix in the salt and the leaves will immediately start to sweat. Press this into a small jar, until this brine is over the top of the leaves. Place a small piece of plastic wrap on this to keep this from evaporating. Use a brine-filled zip style bag to weight it down. Ferment on the counter for 3 days.

Pickled Green Coriander Seed

Pluck just the little green seeds off of the seed heads. Simply place whatever amount you can in a jar. Submerge this is small amount of a simple pickle brine. I have some made up and ready this time of year, as I am pickling almost daily. I use 3/4 cup salt to a gallon of water.

Kirsten Shockey