Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Truly. Tell me. How in the heck does one raise cilantro? I can't seem to get it right, but then my gardening skills are pretty limited by this lazy streak that I just can't seem to shake. If it involves more than plant it; water it; nourish it now and then with some Miracle Grow; weed a little, but not a lot because I mulch; and maybe...just maybe, if I am in the right mood...trim it now and then, it just doesn't happen. My garden needs to be hearty. My attention span is just too short for fussy plantings.

I am wondering if cilantro is one of those fussy plantings. I have tried starting from seed; I have tried purchasing starter plants; this year, I even allowed a large crop of volunteer plants (from seeds dropped last year) to take over a corner of the garden. Still, I only have foliage that is recognizable as sprigs of cilantro for a very short time. In the blink of an eye, the plants shoot up, the leaves become thinner, flowers appear, seeds develop, and I have no real cilantro to harvest.

I am befuddled. Does cilantro normally grow that quickly? Does it have to be constantly replanted in order to harvest perfect little shoots of leaves? Am I doomed to planning my fresh salsas, herb salads, and even the basting marinade for some great pork chops around the never-there-when-you-want-it availability of cilantro in the grocery store? I am clueless.

If you aren't as clueless as me, and know the secret to growing cilantro (or if you have access to a grocery that always stocks this herb), there should be no major planning involved in making some moist and perfectly seasoned pork chops with a cilantro-lime marinade for basting. All prep for the chops can be done while waiting for the grill to heat. The cut of the chop is up to you. I have used bone-in or boneless depending on what I had on hand, and this time, I divided some butterflied chops (that I had originally planned to stuff & bake on one of our rainy days). It is a simple recipe that pairs really well with baked sweet potatoes and a salad for a no stress meal any night of the week.

I maybe be clueless about growing cilantro, but I have no doubts about using it for Cilantro and Lime Pork Chops to land On My Plate.

Cilantro and Lime Pork Chops

4 boneless pork loin chops, 1-inch thick
1 1/4 teaspoons garlic pepper seasoning
3/4 teaspoon onion salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

Heat grill (I prefer charcoal.) to medium direct heat.
Sprinkle chops with garlic pepper seasoning and onion salt; rub to coat.Set aside.
Whisk remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
Place chops on grill.
Baste with oil and cilantro mixture.
Turn chops over and grill 3-5 minutes per side or until internal temperature is 160F.
Baste again and turn once. (Serves 4)


  1. Cilantro grows quickly and goes to seed just as fast. The only way to have a perfect crop on hand all the time is to sow new seeds every couple of weeks. This should keep a continuous crop cycle going.

    Plants which do go to seed should provide more than enough seeds for another planting.

  2. I hate cilantro...........can't stand to have it in the house, but I'm sure I get it in foods in resturants and don;t even know it. I have the same problem trying to keep parsley alive. I don't know why my plants don't survive while I have an abundance of basil and oregano.
    Sandy In Winner

  3. I've tried to grow cilantro for years and it never has the nice leaves that I want to use. Hope you get some feed back. JO

  4. Anne Louise KleinJuly 15, 2009 at 3:41 PM

    Its called bolting. I have a terrible time with cilantro because of this. Here is some info.


  5. I have such a hard time with cilantro. I, too, tried from seeds and then a starter plant. I got one good bunch and then it bloomed and that was it. I am determined somehow to get it right because I love it so much.

  6. I forgot to mention, i saw you on foodgawker and I am going to follow along.

  7. I'm a vegetarian so I, personally can't comment on the recipe, but ilt looked easy and like it had good flavors, so I made it for my hubby last night and he loved it. Thanks for sharing the recipe!!

  8. Bummer! I take the easy route....I have an aero garden so no mess and very little work with lots of cilantro and waaaaaaaay to much basil.

    Your chops look great. I've made a cilantro lime marinade before and its d'bomb....smells so good I want to drink it up!


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