We use a lot of cilantro -- it adds a special flavor to everything from guacamole to casseroles and soups, but unfortunately, it has a short harvest season. When you grow it yourself it tends to bolt after a short time, and it's not always available year-round.
A good way to avoid having to resort to dried cilantro is to freeze fresh cilantro after harvest or purchase.
How To Freeze Cilantro
- Fresh cilantro
- Water, as needed
- To prepare cilantro for the freezer, wash a bunch (or two) and pull the leaves from the stems.
- Chop the leaves.
- Press chopped leaves into molds or muffin pans. Silicone molds or muffin pans work best because you can just pop the frozen blocks out of the pans. Be sure to place silicone molds onto a tray before filling. It helps with transport to the freezer and keeps them level in the freezer.
- Slowly add water to each bunch of cilantro, taking care not to overflow the muffin cups.
- If you used silicone muffin pans, you can just pop the blocks of cilantro out. If you used metal, you will need to set the muffin tins in a larger pan of hot water for a couple of minutes before inverting them. Invert the pans and remove the blocks of cilantro.
- Store the blocks of cilantro in an airtight container in the freezer.
- To use cilantro, you can either place the block in a strainer and run cool water over it to thaw, or , if using in a hot recipe like a soup, slightly reduce the amount of liquid needed in a recipe and add the entire block to the recipe.