I sometimes have fresh cilantro left over from cooking a Mexican dish. I don’t like to let it go to waste after lingering in the refrigerator for a few days. Cilantro dries very nice and stays green afterward. Some herbs that are green can turn brown or black when dried but cilantro stays green. I used be able to find dried cilantro in the Mexican spices that can in the little bags but I haven’t seen any locally in a long time at the store that I shop. So if you do have a hard time finding them already dried this is a good solution to dry them yourself.
The process is very easy and is done in the oven. I have convection oven that makes it even go faster. I set the oven at the lowest temperature that it will go. In my case that is 170 degrees. I also turn on the convection so the air circulates but you can do this in a oven without convection.
Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or nonstick aluminum. The leaves with stick to the pan and it is easier to get all of the leaves off if you parchment or nonstick foil. It makes for easy clean up too. If the leaves are real dry it won’t stick as much. I like to wash the cilantro before I take the leaves off. I remove the leaves from the stem before I dry them.
You only need to lay them evenly on the tray. Put them in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes. They won’t be dry at 30 minutes but you should shake the tray so the leaves rearrange. This helps them to dry faster. You can also tell how close to being dried by the way they look. If it looks like they are almost dry I just set the timer for 15 minutes but if there are lots that are still wet then I set it longer. You will know when it is dry because it will feel dry. I just gently scoop them in a pile to cool. The leaves that are stuck to the parchment paper or non stick foil with come loose after the tray cools. I usually just scrape them up with my fingers. When the flakes are cool just put them in an airtight jar. I make chili often so it is nice to have the cilantro flakes on hand to use. Their flavor isn’t as strong as the fresh so you need to keep that in mind as you use them. I usually use them up in a few months but the rule of thumb for the self life of herbs is one year. You might want to date your jar . I didn’t crush them because I wanted you to see what they look like from drying. You can crush them up to make smaller pieces.