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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January- Coriander

This months special herb is coriander. Coriander found a cherished place in the most sacred work of Western man. The Bible. There's several old world references to coriander, whose fruit is similar to the mysterious food manna.
However, less divine is the fact that the mature green plant, just before it goes to seed, has a strong odor some gardeners find highly offensive.The good news is, as the plant dries the odor dissipates and the lasting odor of dried coriander has been described as a combination of sage and lemon peel.
The plan is an annual, which reaches a height of 1 to 3 feet. It prefers well-drained soil, and a relatively dry climate. Harvest coriander when the fruits turn light brown. The small fruits which envelope the seed are  one eight inch in diameter and will  part into halves when rubbed between the palms. It's this part of the plant that most people used to cook with.
The crushed fruit and seed are sometimes used in rich cakes ,custards and jellies, along with the sugar coated seeds of anise, caraway,  and celery, coated coriander fruits are used in multicolored cake sprinkle to decorate baked goods. Also makes a tasty addition  to pickles and beet salad.

BANANA BREAD WITH CORIANDER

1 stick butter
1 c. sugar
3 eggs
3 ripe bananas
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. walnuts
1/4 c. coriander seeds
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until fluffy. Add bananas. Add flour, baking soda and baking powder. Combine both mixtures. Add walnuts, coriander, vanilla and cinnamon. Bake in a loaf pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool in pan for 30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.

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