29 July 2009


While we were out of town back in June, temperatures 'round here went way up and the cilantro bolted (which it will do when the soil reaches 75˚ F). I knew there was really nothing to be done, which explains why nothing is exactly what I did.

Then, last week while we were yet again out of town, I read a very cheeky NYT food-blog article which contained the following fascinating statement:

Cilantro is . . . the first to bolt, and once in the throes its leaves turn wispy and scant, leaving you wanting. You can cut the flowers back a couple times (and eat them) but the plant will never produce much foliage again. Instead cilantro re-bolts quickly a couple times before suddenly deciding to shrivel up and die. I just let the cilantro do its thing, then eat the precious seeds; when still green, their citrus grassiness is better than the leaves ever were.

The very first day we were back I pulled a few little herb-buds off our bolted cilantro. They were delicious, yes, in very deed rivaling the tastiness of the plant's leaves.

But of course, such deliciousness is short-lived. Don't even think about using them unless they're really still quite green. If you can't get them early you might as well let them continue on their way toward coriander-hood. The in-between stage is sadly bitter and unpleasant.

1 comment:

Karin said...

I am read to bolt, too, but I don't think soil temperature has anything to do with it *sigh