Waste free cilantro stem vinaigrette recipe

Make this cilantro stem salad dressing at home to reduce packaging and food waste. 


Easy to love, hard to grow and a shame to waste

Did you know cilantro – coriander to my Australian friends – is part of the carrot family? Did you also know I love it, but can’t grow it to save my life. Even if I could, I probably couldn’t keep up with my own demand.

When I buy cilantro I use nearly every part. I use the stems and leaves differently though. Each has that wonderful aromatic flavour, but the leaves are most beautiful as garnish, while the stems are perfect for recipes calling for blending or crushing.

Here is a simple, tangy, cilantro-y vinaigrette that would work equally well as a marinade.

Cilantro stem vinaigrette recipe

  • one bunch cilantro stems
  • slosh of apple cider vinegar
  • juice of half a lemon or lime
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • pinch of salt
  • slosh of macadamia nut oil

Blend and pour over the salad just before serving.

Yesterday I used this on a salad of mignonette lettuce, avocado, thinly sliced white onions, and tomatoes. Two of us ate it, but it might be portioned more appropriately for four servings. I really like salad.

Another good use for cilantro stems is in a sort of white sauce for tacos.

Mexican cashew-cilantro stem sauce recipe

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • one bunch of cilantro stems
  • juice of 1 lime
  • dash cumin
  • dash chili powder
  • pinch salt

Just blend together. If you want a more pourable mix, add hot water a bit at a time until you get to the consistency you want. You can substitute tahini for the cashews, or milk kefir to replace the cashews and water.

A delicious way to reduce food waste

Even though I compost, that still comes second to making sure I don’t let anything edible go to waste. As far as eating root to leaf, cilantro’s a pretty easy sell.

Let me know how you use cilantro stems in your cooking. My sister suggested blending to make a fresh curry, which is a great idea that I will definitely try.

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