Caribbean Green Seasoning
It’s the middle of March and its 83 degrees today. My first thought was to put on a frilly frock with colorful sandals and frolic about the place, instead I find myself in jeans and a tee at the farmers market elbowing my way to freshest of the herbs. I live about a 5 minute drive from the DeKalb Farmers Market and it’s the best place to find fresh fruits, herbs, vegetables, meat and seafood. There is also a wide array of International foods and gourmet ingredients…it’s the bees knees. What’s not the bees knees are the horde of people who travel from all over the Metro Atlanta just to shop there. I once waited 30 minutes for snapper, which was of no fault of the workers because I find them to be extremely efficient, but due to the large crowd that was ahead of me. Thankfully this trip was short as I only needed a few ingredients to make my Green Seasoning. I purchased thyme, parsley, scallion, culantro, garlic and a variety of peppers. I was in and out in less than 10 minutes! Now that’s what I call a successful trip! Now that the unpleasant part of my day was done, it was time to get down to business. After all, frolicking was still on my agenda, but first things first. I began by washing my herbs and peppers thoroughly, then I set that aside and began to peel 200 gazillion garlic…well, more like 2 heads of garlic. I did a quick rough chop of all the herbs; this will help it to blend faster once I put it in my food processor. A few pulses and I had created Green gold. This will find its way into most of my Caribbean dishes, generally as a marinade for meat. The foundation of Caribbean cooking is seasoning. No matter how simple the recipe, we are sticklers when it comes to seasoning and we do it well.
WHY ISN’T THERE A RECIPE WITH MEASUREMENTS?
Every household has their own blend of seasoning according to their tastes. There is no recipe as it’s varies based on your personal preference. If you love a garlicky mix, then add lots of garlic, if you’re a lover of heat then add lots of peppers. There is no right and wrong when it comes to creating your unique blend of Green Seasoning. Blending it all together also saves on time; no peeling of countless cloves of garlic or removing thyme from the stem every time you cook a meal because you’ve done the hard work in advance. Here’s to efficiency in the kitchen…our Ancestors had the right idea!
WHAT HERBS CAN BE USED?
Any combination of herbs can be used, I used parsley, thyme and scallion but basil, culantro or chadon beni, celery and any other herb can be used. To make this an all purpose seasoning stay clear of seasoning that are strong and overpowering like rosemary. Use as much or as little as you prefer, remember this is supposed to suit your tastes.
WHAT PEPPERS CAN BE USED TO MAKE GREEN SEASONING:
Peppers give the seasoning another dimension of flavor as well as heat. Habanero, scotch bonnet, wiri wiri pepper or any hot pepper works. If you prefer a less spicy mix, Trinidadian pimento peppers work well. It has the flavor of a hot pepper without the heat. Sweet peppers can also be used in place of hot peppers.