An A to Z guide to choosing, storing, preparing, and cooking fresh produce and recipe ingredients.

  • How to Choose Cilantro
    Look for bright, evenly green stems and no discoloring or wilting.

  • How to Store Cilantro
    Refrigerate cilantro unwashed for up to 5 days. Either wrap it in paper towels kept slightly damp inside a plastic bag or place it in a cup of water, stems down, with a plastic bag covering the leaves to keep in moisture.

    How to Prepare Cilantro
    Just before using cilantro, dunk and swish it in a bowl of water, holding it by the stems; shake it to remove excess water, then pat dry with paper towels. Cut off only as much as you need (the rest will last longer uncut). The stems are tender enough to cook with. Don’t overchop or the cilantro will turn black, as the leaves are very tender and bruise easily.

  • How to Use Cilantro
    Cilantro is commonly used in spicy dishes as a garnish (for chili, for instance) or mixed into yogurt, sour cream, salsa, or guacamole. It gives a clean, fresh edge to dishes that contain ginger or garlic.

    Jenny Rosenstrach

    Real Simple Cilantro Recipes:

    See all Cilantro recipes »

  • How To: Prepare Cilantro

    There’s no substitute for the fresh flavor of just-picked herbs, but the frustration of getting the grit out of, say, cilantro can make you skip them altogether. Don’t reach for the dry stuff yet, though: Follow the steps in this video for a fast, efficient prep and chop.


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Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.

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