Extra Cilantro

I am not a fan of cilantro as my hubby is but I still can’t stand to see something go to waste, so out to the herb garden I went to pick as much fresh cilantro as I could before it started to bolt. Once cilantro starts to produce flowers its leaves lose their flavor so it’s best to keep a close eye on them and harvest them quickly.

fresh cilantro

Since it has a strong flavor and I don’t use that much of it during the year I cut it all back except about 1/3 of the plant and will let it come back. The next batch I will dry to use as a dried herb.

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For this first cutting I made pesto that I am going to store in the freezer to use throughout the year.

This recipe is so easy that it took me longer to pull the leaves off the plants then it did to make 3 batches of freezer pesto.

Fresh Cilantro Pesto

  • 2 cups cilantro leaves, washed & dry
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper


  1. Place the cilantro, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, processing until smooth.
  2. Add salt & pepper. Pulse once or twice to mix.
  3. Transfer to mini ice cube trays, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

Yields about 1/2 cup pesto.

This keeps really well in the freezer for up to 6 months, but I do double bag it to prevent freezer burn.

Here are some quick and easy ways you can use these mini frozen cubes of cilantro and garlic.

Please note that I use mini ice cube trays that are only about 3/4 of inch wide.

  • Add a cube to scrambled eggs
  • Defrost and add to salsa
  • For an easy lunch add a frozen cube to 1 cup of hot drained pasta, 1/2 teaspoon of butter and 1/8 cup of parmesan cheese
  • Defrost and add a cube to chicken salad
  • Add cubes to soups and stews
  • Defrost and mix in ground beef for hamburgers (1 mini cube per burger)
  • Add a cube to those summer vegetable melodies we all make as our gardens are in full swing

Interesting note: Cilantro has an amazing health benefit! If you are constantly fatigued, and frequently experience “brain fog” you may suffer from some sort of toxic heavy metal overload. We can be exposed to toxic heavy metals from many unseen sources, including dental fillings. A simple addition of cilantro to your daily diet may start to add a perk to your step, and lift mental fog.

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