Coriander is a wonderful spice used in both sweet and savory dishes. It can be applied in both the whole seed or in ground form. The whole seeds almost hold the appearance of a Chinese lantern with beautiful ridges running down the sides. Native to both Southern Europe and the Middle East, coriander is one of the most ancient herbs.
It is harvested in either early morning or late afternoon so that the dew in the air will prevent the fruit from shattering. It is then hung to dry and once dry stripped of the valuable seeds. Ground coriander is best purchased in small amounts and kept in an airtight container to preserve its flavor. Ground coriander is one of those ingredients
that you can use to even out a spice mixture if you have added too much of one ingredient.
My favorite application for ground coriander is found in the following recipe from
Chef Jean-Philippe. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
Mushroom, Baby Fennel and Carrots a la Grecque
- 2 tbls extra-virgin olive oil
- Baby fennel cut in half
- ½ pound pearl onions
- 12 ounces small white mushrooms, quartered
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 2-by-½-inch sticks
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 1 tbls coriander seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon whole White peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 branch thyme
- 1 branch lemon thyme
- 1 lemon skin
- 1 garlic clove
- Freshly ground pepper
- A few sprigs of Italian parsley, chopped
Warm the oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat; add the
fennel, mushroom, onion and carrots.
Cover and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients, bring to boil and simmer for 5
minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Season with salt and pepper.
Remove from the heat and set aside.
Discard the bay leaves and peppercorns before serving.
Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm or cool.