Pulled from the garden at the end of the season and left to dry out fully for a good few weeks, our coriander has finally arrived on the kitchen island for final harvesting. I know it would be far easier to find a large bag and leave the plants suspended inside of it, but it’s surprisingly relaxing to pluck the small, dried seeds and drop them into a bowl. My husband started the process a while back, and I was reminded to pick up the task again when it came time to close our screened in porch for the season.
I wasn’t organized enough to save any of the leaves of these plants, known as cilantro (or Chinese parsley), but I did season many meals with them during the summer months. Cilantro is one of my favourite fresh herbs, and coriander is definitely a favourite store cupboard choice. I love that they come from the same plant, one that is delightfully easy to grow.
The Farmer’s Almanac has a good page on coriander and cilantro; in spite of this plant’s preference for loamy soil, it did well for us in a patch that is still heavily defined by clay (pun fully intended).
This year I scattered some seeds in my north-facing kitchen garden, the one I run to for greens and herbs as I’m preparing a meal in the warm months. The plants grew very happily there, next to a variety of lettuces and speckled cranberry beans. I’ll try to remember that for next spring when I’m considering placement again. Perhaps next year I’ll even manage to save some of the cilantro leaves so that I can enjoy their flavour through the winter. For this winter, I have the coriander seeds.