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home : columnists : columnists August 23, 2017

Coriander and Cilantro - An herbal duet in C

By Paula Dunn
From Time to Thyme

It's that time again - the Herb Society of Central Indiana's annual spring symposium will be held Saturday, April 8, from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds in Noblesville.

This year's theme is "Herbal Duet in C: Coriander/Cilantro" in honor of the International Herb Association's 2017 "Herb of the Year," coriander and cilantro.

If you're trying to figure out why that shouldn't be "HerbS of the Year," it's because coriander and cilantro come from the same plant. The green foliage that resembles parsley is the cilantro and the small round fruits are the coriander seed.

I have to confess, coriander/cilantro is not one of my favorite herbs. I've only grown it once and that was years ago. If you want to know why, the fact that the word "coriander" comes from the Greek "koris" meaning "bedbug" should give you a clue. It has an unappealing odor someone thought was rather "buggy."

Nevertheless, many people do like and use both aspects of the plant. Coriander seeds are an important ingredient in pickling spice, and in curry and chili powders, and they're used to flavor gin, while cilantro is a staple of Mexican, Oriental and Indian cooking.

Kim Porter, who owned Garden Thyme at the Old Schoolhouse in Clarksville, tells me eating cilantro is a great way to detoxify. All leafy greens will do that, but cilantro goes even further. It binds with heavy metals like lead, aluminum and mercury, and carries them from your body. It also neutralizes HCAs, the carcinogens created when meat is cooked over a high flame.

If you'd like to try some tasty detoxification, Kim passed along this recipe she adapted from one found on Allrecipes.com.

Cilantro Chickpea Salad

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 C. olive oil

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

4 19-oz. cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas,) drained

2 yellow bell peppers, seeded and chopped

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced

3/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro

In a bowl, crush together the garlic and salt. To prepare dressing, mix olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, ginger, cumin and cayenne pepper.

In a separate bowl, stir together garbanzo beans, yellow bell peppers, green onions and cilantro. Mix in the dressing. Cover and chill in refrigerator overnight.

You can learn more about coriander and cilantro at the symposium.

This year's speakers include horticulturist and certified nurseryman Mark Lanigan who will present "Cilantro Year-Round. Who Knew?," Master Herbalist and LPN Dolores Weis who will discuss "Herbs and Vitamins and Oils, Oh My!," and Kim Galeaz, a culinary dietitian, nutritionist, writer and spokesperson who will cover "Food Trends - What's Hot and What's Not."

In addition, two graduates of the Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland, Regina Mehallick, the owner of R2GO Specialty Market, and personal chef Cathy Richardson will present "Chefs Duet in C."

As always, there will be a silent auction, opportunities to shop for plants and herbal items, and lots of freebies to take home. Refreshments will be available all day, and lunch by the Juniper Spoon is included in the registration fee.

The cost is $50 ($45 if you're a member) and you can register online or by mail. For more information, go to the HSCI website, www.herbsocietyofcentralindiana.org, or call 317-251-6986. Registration closes April 3.

Notable Nineties Update: Nancy Waltz-Stern has added her mother, "Jo" Esther Waltz of northern Hamilton County, to our list of Notables. Congratulations, Jo!

Paula Dunn's From Time to Thyme column appears each Friday in The Times. Contact her at younggardenerfriend@gmail.com

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