A slight diversion from my normal format. I'm literally snowed in here in the mountains (that's a good thing: lots of food in the pantry, woodstove is fired up and a pile of books waiting).
Yes, I knew coriander seed came from Cilantro. Which I grow. I've never bothered to save the seed which in of itself is worthy of this years “ Well Duh” award. But in reading the January 2011 Saveur magazine I found out that you can use the seed heads when they are green. The are doing a special Chef issue and Chef # 27 (Sara Jenkins, Porchetta, NYC) mentions it's her favorite recent discovery. I feel a little better as she calls it her recent discovery but then Herbs used to be my business so only a little better.
After reading her little paragraph, I then ran upstairs with the magazine in hand and googled “Green Coriander Seeds”.
This is what I learned:
When Cilantro bolts and goes to seed you can harvest the seed heads when they are still green and cook with them. Just pick them as they form; any you miss can, of course, be dried and used as dried Coriander seeds.
You can take the green ones and use them in marinades, vinegars, brines, soups, sprinkled on salads, used with chicken and fish.
I'm not going to think about the huge cilantro patch I pulled up when it started to bolt in the green house this last Spring. I'm just going to make sure I get some seeds to plant early next year... which is next week.
Here are some references:
January issue of www.saveur.com page 37