When thumbing through cookbooks you will often times run across recipes calling for cilantro, Mexican parsley and sometimes even coriander. Have you ever wondered what they are? Are they all the same? The answer is yes they are all the same. Cilantro is a pungent delightfully citrusy herb that resembles parsley in appearance.
This bright green herb comes from the coriander plant. The leaves and stems are used to make cilantro and the seeds are dried and ground to make the bottled spice coriander.
You will often times find cilantro in the produce section of your grocery store tied in bundles much the same way as parsley. The leaves are slightly larger than parsley leaves and the aroma is much more aromatic.
Common uses for cilantro are in dips, salsas, salad dressings and sauces. You can even find it in some Chinese recipes being referred to as Chinese parsley.
If you are looking for a way to use cilantro for dinner tonight here is a quick and easy salsa solution where cilantro, Mexican parsley, or coriander is your primary spice.
Mix in a small bowl chopped and seeded tomatoes, chopped onion, chopped peppers (heat level of your choosing), and cilantro. This makes a refreshing light Pico de Gallo type salsa that is great as a salad topper or dip for tortilla chips.