Get creative with your cooking by using green coriander seeds! Lee’s One Fortune Farm started selling the delicacy this week. Green coriander is essentially unripe coriander seeds produced from overwintered cilantro plants. While not as common as the dried coriander seed you find in the spice aisle, green coriander can lend a unique twist to your meals this week. Green coriander can taste bitter when eaten alone, but when paired with the right ingredients it adds a beautiful, bright aroma and flavor. Find the Lees at Asheville City, Black Mountain, East Asheville, West Asheville, and River Arts District farmers markets.
This falafel recipe is the perfect way to start using green coriander in your kitchen. Make sure you have a blender or food processor cleaned and ready to use. Add about three cups of dried chickpeas that have been soaked overnight, half a red onion, six garlic scapes, the zest of one lemon, one tablespoon of lemon juice, half a tablespoon of salt, two tablespoons of green coriander seeds, one tablespoon of cumin, a big handful each of parsley and cilantro, half teaspoon of baking powder, and three tablespoons of chickpea or all-purpose flour. Highgate Farms is selling garlic scapes at West Asheville, River Arts District, and Black Mountain markets, as well as Velvet Morning Farms at Asheville City Market.
Pulse the blender or processor to break all the ingredients down, then repeatedly blend and scrape the sides until smooth. Gently scoop out the mixture (an ice cream scooper is an easy way to size your falafel) and roll into balls with your hands. Heat a high heat oil (such as avocado sunflower seed, or canola) in a pan and shallow fry your falafel balls. You can also use an air fryer to cook falafel, heating at 350 degrees for 14 minutes, flipping halfway through. Pair your delicious falafel with a tahini sauce, and some hand-pressed sourdough pita from Hominy Farm (at North, West, and River Arts District markets)!
If you’re looking for another way to incorporate green coriander into your recipes, try making this simple green coriander paste and adding it to any meal. Remove one to two cups green coriander seeds from the stems. Transfer seeds into a blender or food processor, and add a drizzle of olive oil, the juice of half of a lime, and a teaspoon of sea salt, then blend. Depending on how much green coriander you have, adjust the recipe to taste. If you don’t have a blender, or want to experiment with the texture of the paste, you can also crush and mince the green coriander seeds, then transfer to a bowl and mix with the other ingredients. We recommend this paste paired with cooked meats (like steak or chicken), on tacos, or drizzled on salads. You can even drizzle it over the recommended falafel recipe to use all your green coriander at once! Use sparingly, as the green coriander packs a lot of flavor.
At farmers markets now you’ll also find a variety of produce such as cucumbers, strawberries, asparagus, carrots, radishes, turnips, sweet potatoes, potatoes, mushrooms. Also look out for greens like lettuce, arugula, chard, kale, spinach, bok choy, and mustard greens. Markets are stocked with a variety of meats, cheese, rice, pasta, bread, drinks, and prepared foods. Find more details about farms and markets throughout the region in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.