Cilantro is an herb from the fresh leaves of the plant, (Coriandrum sativum L) is part of the Apiaceae family, which contains 3,700 species, including carrots, celery, and parsley.
All parts of the plant are edible, but people most commonly use the fresh leaves and dried seeds in cooking. The leaves look much like flat-leaf parsley, growing on long, tender stems. The seeds of the plant are used to make coriander spice, which has a completely different flavour from cilantro. The roots of the plant are also edible and used in some dishes.
Cilantro has been a part of global cuisine for a long time, and is essential in many Mexican, Middle Eastern, African, Indian, Russian and Asian recipes. It is almost always used fresh because it doesn't dry well. You will often find cilantro scattered on top of Indian dishes. It's frequently used in salsa in Mexican cuisine and in Moroccan Chermoula and Yemeni Zhug.
Cilantro prefers a sunny location, and it grows best in a well-drained, moist soil. Cilantro plants should be spaced about 15-20cm (6-8") Apart. To harvest fresh cilantro all season, make successive sowings every 2-3 weeks starting in late spring. From the time of sowing seed, cilantro leaves can begin to be harvested in about 3 to 4 weeks. Cilantro seeds can be harvested in about 45 days.
Fresh leaf cilantro is very low in calories and has important vitamins. 1 One half cup has only 2 calories and provides 28 percent of the daily value for vitamin K (essential for strong bones and teeth) and 3 percent of the daily value for vitamins A and C. Like most leafy greens, it has strong antioxidant activity. Useful as a remedy for pain and inflammation. Cilantro also contains vitamins C, provitamin A, and K, as well as trace amounts of the following:
Approximately 50 Seeds per package.