You can find it in the wild, but it is easy to grow as well. Within a month from sowing the seeds in loose soil and keeping it moist, you will be able to harvest and use it. Maybe we ought to use it a little more often, because it has lots of health benefits.
Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)
Cilantro has lacy green leaves with a pungent, spicy flavor. Just 1/4 cup (4g) of fresh cilantro has only 1 calorie and is loaded with beta-carotene and lutein/zeaxanthin as well as a good source of vitamin K. Indian researchers found that cilantro reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels in an animal study.
~Source: Dole Food Facts.
Cilantro is also rich in Thiamin, Zinc, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, Manganese and is low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol.
Some medical studies also came to the conclusion that consuming cilantro on a regular basis assists the body getting rid of heavy metals like mercury.
You can find tons of recipes which include cilantro on the Internet. Since it is eaten raw, it is usually added at the last moment. All of cilantro can be used; the leaves have the most flavor and can be used as is or chopped. The root is milder and is usually grated ( a lemon zester will work great). The taste of the seeds leans more towards anise and when crushed the seeds are great for spice mixes and/or desserts.
The best way to store cilantro in the fridge is by cutting the bottom of the stems, placing it in a jar with water and covering it with a plastic bag. Refresh the water every couple of days and you have fresh cilantro for the next two weeks.
It can also be frozen; wash, drain and dry it. You can leave it whole or chop it up, put it in freezer bags and freeze it. To dry cilantro; hang it upside down in a dry, dark place. Keep in mind though that the flavor of dried cilantro is much less then when used fresh!
I like sprucing up a dish with herbs and spices and I don't hesitate to experiment with them. So far, I have had no complaints and everyone still survived my cooking. There is one main ingredient I always use and am not stingy with either; I pour a lot of love in my dishes. :-)
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred.