We grow our own cilantro–partly because it is very easy to grow, partly because it is hard to find fresh herbs in our area, and partly because it is just so delicious!
I usually plant way more cilantro than we could ever use before it bolts when the weather gets warmer. Although cilantro is a great cool-weather plant, it doesn’t last forever. In our area, it bolts as soon as the summer heat starts baking it. The seeds it produces are coriander, a very nice spice…but not a good substitute for the flavor of fresh cilantro.
So, how to preserve that freshness? Freeze it!
Begin by washing and chopping the cilantro stems and leaves. I prefer to use a small food processor, but any type of chopping method should work just fine.
Once the herbs are chopped to your satisfaction, spoon them into ice cube trays.
I prefer to use trays that make the smallest cubes so that I can use smaller amounts of herbs once they are frozen.
If you have any liquid left over from your chopping method, such as the juice that collects at the bottom of the food processor, pour that into the herb cubes until they are full. Use water if there is not enough liquid. The idea is to have enough in each cube to bind the herbs together when frozen.
Once the cubes are packed and filled, freeze them until solid. Dump the cilantro cubes into a Ziploc bag and stash them in the freezer for a day when you don’t have the fresh stuff.
Use in soups, casseroles, salsa, or anything else where you want the great cilantro flavor but the fresh texture isn’t required.
Almost any type of leafy herb can be frozen using this same method.