At a time of year when the thought of cooking another winter squash is too much to bear, and the shoots of green aren’t quite tall enough for harvest yet, (where IS that asparagus, anyway???), coriander is the cure. The light, mellow citrus flavors elevate the palate in anticipation of the season to come. Most commonly found as an essential layer of flavor in spice blends- from the exotic curries and masalas of India to the familiar pickling spices and crab boils found here in the States- it can shine even more brightly used alone or in simple combinations to bring light fresh flavor in any season.
Coriander has been cultivated since ancient times and infused into the cuisines of every continent. It comes in two varieties- commonly called Indian and European- because of where they are typically grown and used. Both have the same light flavor profile and singular ability to add both a savory base and citrus top notes with just one spice. The European variety is more brown in color and round in shape, whereas the Indian is greenish-yellow and oblong. Indian coriander is not as common on the American market. It can be more bold, presenting stronger citrus top notes, and a creamy element not found in the European variety. They can be used interchangeably, and in combination.
The flavors of coriander are best preserved in the whole seeds, which can easily be ground right before use. It can be a little “husky” so you may want to sift the ground coriander before use if you grind it at home. Me? I like it rustic and don’t mind the crunch. Here are some recipes to bring coriander onto the table for breakfast, lunch or dinner and dessert- because that’s how we roll. There just isn’t enough room in the spice pantry for the ones you cant’s use in multiple recipes.
Last spice note on coriander? The seeds come from the same plant that gives us cilantro, and before you know it, summer will be here and we’ll all be be eating fish tacos on the beach.
Roasting beets concentrates their flavor and the complement of coriander is delicious. We like to roast a whole pan-full and serve them as a side dish or atop a dark leafy green salad of chard, kale and spinach. Choose beets of a similar size so they cook at about the same rate, and both the gold and red varieties can be used alone or in combination. The spice mix of coriander, sesame, marjoram and urfa is bright and pleasing with just a hint of mild heat. Inspired by our love of dukkah and Israeli za’atar, this blend is a variation on those themes with coriander taking center stage.
This spice mixture goes well with other roasted vegetables too- like carrots or parsnips and can be used as a crust on meat and seafood. You can vary the consistency to go with your dish- we like it medium-fine to sprinkle on vegetables and a more coarse to use as a crust. For another variation, grind the coriander seeds, but leave the sesame seeds whole for additional crunch.
Out of the oven, these beets have heavenly, and healthy flavor. Enjoy.
It’s a toss up whether the texture or flavor of this cake make it such a winner- but combined there’s no doubt it’s delicious. The crunch of whole millet is surrounded by cake made velvety smooth with coconut oil, and the bright flavor of coriander is delightful . Healthy enough to have for breakfast and tasty enough for tea time or dessert, this versatile cake is a snap to make so enjoy it any time.
This crunchy coriander granola IS a breakfast champion. The mellow flavor of coriander seeds is complemented by orange zest and coconut oil in every bite, and it is perfectly toasted to give a satisfying crunch to your breakfast bowl. This sublime cereal can also serve as a base for crusts, crumbles and bars or as a nutty topping for an ice cream sundae.
Have you ever eaten something so good that it induces a trance? Well, check out our Voodoo Shrimp and Grits. This classic dish features our best-selling spice blend, Voodoo, a robust seasoning which includes onion, garlic, whole mustard seeds, thyme and allspice on a base of peppercorns and sea salts. We are excited to share Voodoo Shrimp and Grits just in time for Mardis Gras. French for Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras refers to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. Definitely rich, this recipe could be the inspiration for your own Mardi Gras ritual.
Join the World Spice Cookbook Club and enjoy all the great features of a regular book club, along with fabulous food and friendly competition! Each month members will explore the featured cookbook in their own kitchen, and then cook their favorite dish for our monthly “Meet & Eat” at World Spice. Club members will share recipe tips, delicious food, camaraderie and conversation along with a little light-hearted competition for the best recipe.
Membership is free and includes:
- 20% discount on each featured text
- Opportunity to win a World Spice Gift Card at every meeting
- Delicious food and discussion
- Best recipe of the night wins the next month’s cookbook.
- Attend 12 meetings and win a spice pantry overhaul!
The club will meet the first Wednesday evening of each month, beginning March 5th from 6:30-8:00 pm. To join, stop by the retail store or contact Holly at [email protected].
Praise for Balaboosta
Balaboosta has been a World Spice favorite since it landed on our shelves, and clearly the critics agree. Subtitled “Bold Mediterranean Recipes to feed the People You Love”, Balaboosta does make you want to feed people and that’s why it’s our first pick for the World Spice Cookbook Club, beginning in March. Including both traditional dishes, like Shakshuka, Bourekas and Falafel and more modern takes on traditional food, such as Lamb Chops with Persian Lime Sauce, Balaboosta will delight both novice and seasoned home cooks of Eastern Mediterranean Cuisine. Einat Admony, the author, has three busy restaurants in NYC that showcase Eastern Mediterranean food. Originally from Israel, but also with Yemenite and Persian heritage, Admony’s food reflects all of those culinary influences.
“A gorgeously cookable take on the kind of simple, sophisticated, intensely flavorful food I find myself always wanting to eat.”
“This is going to be a bold claim, but we found the Harry Potter of cookbooks. . . . It’s called Balaboosta, and its Israeli-inspired recipes are universal crowd-pleasers. What’s even better: They’re almost all YA-level easy.”
“If you’re looking for the Jewish-American dishes you grew up with or favorite Mediterranean dishes, you’ll find many of them here. If you want something easy to put on the tonight’s table or to serve at an upcoming dinner party, those kinds of recipes are here too. And if you’ve been to one of Einat Admony’s restaurants and are hoping to see some favorites that you can make at home, yes, there’s a whole chapter for you to plunder. There is something in Balaboosta for everyone.”
To learn more about the food, and the author, check out this feature in the New York Times.