Once upon a time, in 2012, I returned home from my first year of college and got a summer job working at a fast food burrito chain. So began my education in the enormous passions of teams Pro-Cilantro and Anti-Cilantro.
They are equally ardent, and the herb is one of extremes: Some customers would ask for extra cilantro to be added to their burritos; some would immediately recoil at the sight of the leaves. It's either the world's best herb or...it tastes like feet.
If you're a staunch member of Team Anti-Cilantro, let me direct you to recipes that will help you use up your basil. But if you're Team Pro-Cilantro—well, you've come to the right place. Here are 21 of our best cilantro recipes just for you:
Serve this coconutty chutney with all manner of roasted meats, fishes, vegetables, or even spread on a sandwich.
This isn't your average roasted cauliflower, thanks to a few simple, yet impactful additions: cilantro, cumin, and lemon juice.
These spicy, saucy chilaquiles wouldn't be complete without a final flurry of torn cilantro leaves, aka the perfect garnish.
In this Parsi recipe, firm white fish is marinated in a green masala made with cilantro leaves, mint, green chiles, and coconut before getting wrapped in banana leaves and pan-fried.
These savory Azerbaijani pancakes are packed with the bright, fresh flavors of cilantro (and many other herbs), onions, green garlic, and serrano pepper.
This creamy, Genius-approved soup is all about the green, from the veggies to the cilantro.
This zippy salsa verde goes with just about anything: quesadillas, tortilla chips, fried eggs, grilled meats, you name it.
This contest-winning soup expertly balances spicy (from the larb-style tofu) with sweet (the creamy corn base).
This vegetarian-friendly dish could easily be breakfast, brunch, lunch, or even dinner—it's up to you.
We pretty much guarantee you'll fall in love with this green goddess dressing, a creamy-herby combination of yogurt, avocado, herbs, honey, and lemon juice.
This refreshing chilled noodle salad is exactly what you want to dig into on a hot summer afternoon or evening.
These green veggie meatballs make an excellent appetizer, but would also feel right at home smothered in your favorite tomato sauce with spaghetti.
The finishing touch on this buttery, pea-filled scallop dish: a zesty cilantro gremolata.
Welcome the warm weather with a batch of this super-refreshing drink.
You'll never make potatoes the same way again after trying this salt-crusted method.
A totally riffable sheet-pan dinner that takes regular-old roasted broccoli up several notches.
A final splash of cream and handful of cilantro make this dish "intensely fragrant and deeply divine."
Feel free to eat these broccoli meatballs as is—they make an amazing snack straight from the fridge.
These Genius vegetarian tacos can just as easily go vegan—just skip the queso fresco.
We dare you to stop at just one chip.
This zingy green marinade was made for chicken, from crispy wings to tender grilled chicken thighs.
Which team are you on? What's your best way to use up a bunch of cilantro?
This article was updated by the Food52 editors in 2020 to include more yummy cilantro recipes.