cilantro sugar

by Patricia on August 9, 2012 · 4 comments

Post image for cilantro sugar

Does this ever happen to you?

You buy a bunch of cilantro or mint (or another herb) for a recipe that calls for a few sprigs, only to have most of it go bad before you figure out what to do with the rest?

Maybe it’s just me. I can live with that.  But to solve my herbal issue, I’ve been playing with ways to make good use of the herbs before they give into the wilty-side.

I’ve made simple syrups with mint and thyme (2 different syrups) to use in cocktails and to drizzle over stuff like peaches. And yesterday I tried an herb sugar (pictured up top), inspired by a recipe I found in Everyday Food.

It’s awesome! It tastes sweet and green.And makes my taste buds dance when I dip watermelon in it.

I used it in place of chopped herbs in a watermelon-tomato salad last night and, while on the sweet side, it was a-ma-zing.

I’ll share the salad recipe very soon. In the meantime, give this cilantro-sugar a try sprinkled onto fruit (like watermelon) or on the rim of your next cocktail.

Cilantro Sugar

(adapted from Everyday Food, July/August 2012)

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Whir in a food processor until the cilantro is finely ground and the sugar turns green.

Suggested uses: Sprinkled on fruit, rim cocktail glasses, dip watermelon chunks into it, in place of sugar in lemonade or tea to give it a little extra oomph, or in a summery salad (like watermelon-tomato with feta cheese).


  • EDF suggests trying other tender herbs like basil or mint as well.
  • I reduced the sugar in the original recipe because I wanted more herb and less sweet.
  • Sugar will slow down the browning/decay of the herbs, but as with anything with fresh herbs, I wouldn’t expect it to keep for too long.
  • I think next time I’ll add some lime zest to give even more zing.


1 Lana March 3, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Thanks! I just tried this to sprinkle on a cake I am making on Friday for a dinner party. I am making a fresh watermelon cake (frosted watermelon instead of ‘cake’), and have to include ‘greens’ with it (a thing our dinner group is doing whereby we get a course of the meal and randomly pick one ingredient out of a hat). I thought about doing sugared cilantro and that’s when my google search led me here- to cilantro sugar! awesome, and so much less work! I am planning to use leaf stencils and sprinkling the sugar through them for decoration.
Only problem was that I stupidly rinsed the cilantro before mixing and didn’t dry them completely. The sugar has gotten thick because of it, so I’ve spread it out on wax paper to hopefully dry it out some. We’ll see!
Thanks again!

2 Lindsie August 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Also, sticking your herbs in a baggie and putting them in the freezer does wonders! Especially with basil.

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