So this year’s class of culinary herbs is pretty standard for me. They are mostly hearty herbs that I’ve had really good success growing, and more importantly, are frequent ingredients in my recipes. But there is the one problem child: cilantro.
First off, cilantro seems to be an acquired taste. I used to think of it as the ‘soapy’ herb. That is, until Hubby and I visited Mexico for our 20th anniversary. I learned that when cilantro is used in the right dish, it gives a bright spark that I miss when it’s not present. I simply can’t imagine guacamole, salsa or even a wasabi tuna salad without cilantro. The thought actually makes me sad. Which is why it makes me even sadder that cilantro is so difficult to grow.
Cilantro seems to have about a 3-week life span. Apparently, there is something about the roots and transplant shock that seems to result in a decidedly short growing period. Hubby actually took the time last year to plant new seeds every three to four weeks for me so that I could use cilantro at will. I don’t know if he’ll have time to do that again this year, but I hope so.
As for the other tasty seedlings … I have basil, thyme, rosemary, Italian parsley and dill. I also picked up a sweet banana pepper plant. I have had great luck with these. Once they get going, they produce generously, and I use them in place of green bell peppers. I truly prefer the taste of the sweet banana peppers and they have a more delicate skin. Just like bell peppers, they will ripen if you want a sweet red pepper for a recipe. So it’s a great value for the money.
Up next, planting the ‘crop.’