Q: I just purchased a huge bag of dried cilantro from Nuts.com, and I really have no idea how to use it. I have no idea what to do with all this cilantro! Can you give me any ideas?
Sent by Lorraine
Editor: A few summers ago I went mad and dehydrated my entire garden. I mean everything — from the tomatoes and eggplants down to every single herb, including the cilantro. That summer I learned two things: Dehydrating is my favorite form of preservation, and dried cilantro should never be added to fresh salsa.
So I'm going to steer you clear of using that dried cilantro of yours in anything where the fresh taste of cilantro is crucial, like a salsa or a chimichurri sauce. Instead, use it when you want cilantro as a background flavor in saucy dishes likes beans, soups, or marinades. Dried cilantro isn't very flavorful to begin with, so you have to add a substantial amount for the flavor to come through. And then you run the risk of things tasting like they're coated in saw dust. I have to be honest, Lorraine — dried cilantro is a bit more trouble than it's worth.
So if this was an impulse buy, I'd hold off next time the urge seizes you. The antidote is to head straight to the fresh herbs to pick up bunches of fresh cilantro. You can turn them into a pantry ingredient of sorts by freezing them in olive oil.
Kitchn readers, what do you think? What are some ways Lorraine can make a dent in this big bag of dried cilantro?