Nigella Lawson Has a Genius Hack for People Who Hate Cilantro
"Food, for me, is a constant pleasure: I like to think greedily about it, reflect deeply on it, learn from it; it provides comfort, inspiration, meaning, and beauty," says Nigella Lawson in her brand-new cookbook Cook, Eat, Repeat: Ingredients, Recipes, and Stories (buy it: $22.14 on Amazon).
But one thing that doesn't bring a decent chunk of humans pleasure on the food front? Cilantro.
Researchers believe that somewhere between 3 and 21 percent of people despise the flavor of fresh cilantro (which varies widely by ethnic group) either due to a genetic glitch or personal preference. The scientists who studied the topic for the journal Flavour said that even though this fresh herb offers antibacterial and anticancer benefits, "Cilantro is one of the most polarizing and divisive food ingredients known."
Even Ina Garten has admitted it's the one ingredient she will never use in her recipes.
Luckily, Nigella Lawson has a solution for all the cilantro-haters out there (listen up, Ina!), which comes courtesy of a recent "recipe of the day" she posted on Instagram.
"Lime and Coriander Chicken [is] full of zing," she says in the photo's caption. "It's rare for me to choose chicken breast over thigh, but this really works—and I make crackling out of the skin and crumble it over a salad made with ridiculously disparaged iceberg! And coriander-haters: I suggest you use a mixture of fresh mint and dill instead."
Note for Americans: "Coriander" is the term most individuals in the UK use for the herb that is harvested from the Coriandrum sativum plant. (Yep, that's the same plant that coriander seeds come from too!)
So essentially, Lawson is suggesting that you trade 1 tablespoon fresh mint and 1 tablespoon dill for the 2 tablespoons of cilantro called for in her Lime and Coriander Chicken recipe from her 2017 book At My Table (buy it: $36.49 on Amazon) that fans say is, "So beautifully springy," and "sounds delish."
A lot of Lawson devotees chimed in to thank her for the tip, but others wore their cilantro fondness with pride: "I love cilantro!!! I need a cilantro perfume LOL," one Instagram user adds.
Another had a bonus question about other herb swaps. "What could I use for a Coriander AND mint hater? 🤔 Only dill?" to which Lawson responded, "That would be lovely enough, but really you could use any herbs you like!"
So feel free to take Lawson's cue and get creative mixing and matching the fresh blooms in your herb garden to replace the cilantro in Lawson's chicken dinner or any of our favorite healthy cilantro recipes.
Since we personally adore cilantro, we'll be whipping up Lawson's Lime and Coriander Chicken tonight as-is (although feel free to adjust as desired!). Pair it with this 2-ingredient cocktail for warm-weather entertaining, and that sounds like one totally tasty and easy weeknight dinner winner if you ask us!