Sometimes referred to as ‘Chinese parsley’ or ‘cilantro’ – coriander is a native herb of the Middle East and Southern Europe.
However, it has also been popular throughout Asia for thousands of years.
It grows wild in Egypt and the Sudan, and surprisingly can also be found growing wild in English fields.
Most Australians would recognise coriander as an ingredient regularly used in Thai cuisine.
The pungent tasting fresh green leaves almost look like the leaves of parsley, but with more of a flat and jagged appearance.
The fragrant dried seed is globular and almost round, brown to yellow red, and 4mm in diameter with alternating straight and wavy ridges. The seeds have a mild, distinctive taste similar to a blend of lemon and sage.
The taste of the fresh leaves and dried seeds are so different from each other, that some people may love one, yet loathe the other.
Some recipes, such as Thai curry paste often calls for the use the fresh roots of the coriander plant for its earthy, depth of flavour.
Coriander tastes great with ingredients such as chilli, lime and ginger.
Zucchini with Garlic and Coriander
1 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground coriander
salt and pepper
Quarter the zucchini lengthwise, and then cut pieces in half crosswise.
Add zucchini to a medium saucepan of boiling salted water and cook uncovered over high heat for approximately 3 minutes or until just tender, but still firm.
Drain the zucchini well and transfer to a shallow serving platter.
Heat olive oil in saucepan used to cook zucchini, add garlic and cook over low heat for approximately 15 seconds or until light brown.
Add ground coriander and stir over low heat a few seconds to blend.
Then immediately add to zucchini and toss.
Season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper.