Trinidadian Green SeasoningJune 04, 2014 by Richard Peterson
Throughout the world there are certain cooking ingredients and elements endemic to their specific locations that boldly state “this food is from here.” Pesto takes us to northern Italy, and mole conjures up visions of central and southern Mexico; while the herbaceous blend of mint, basil and cilantro lends itself to the flavors of South Asia. Even the combination of yellow mustard and pickle relish can place us in a baseball park somewhere in the United States. Green Seasoning represents the “taste” and “flavor” of the vibrant Caribbean country called Trinidad and Tobago.
This blend of fresh herbs is used in everyday cooking as a seasoning or marinade for meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables, soups and other side dishes. The intense “herby” taste of this mixture adds a spike of flavor to any dish.
Like all food items, there are a multitude of interpretations on ingredients. The following is a traditional base recipe for Green Seasoning. Other ingredients can be added to this basic formula depending on the flavor profile you wish to achieve. For a spicier version, it is common to add scotch bonnet peppers.
- 2 cups (480 g) Celery Leaves (or 1 stalk of celery)
- 6 Green Onions, white and green parts
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 1 bunch Culantro (Shado Beni in T & T)*
- 12 Garlic Cloves
- ¾ cup (180 g) Fresh Thyme Leaves
- ½ cup (120 g) Spanish Thyme Leaves*
- 2 tbsp. (30 g) White Vinegar
- ½ tsp. (2 g) Salt
- Combine all ingredients into a food processor.
- Purée mixture till smooth.
- Remove from food processor and use in specified recipe.
Yield: 12 ounces
*Culantro and Spanish Thyme are commonly found in Latin and Caribbean markets. Cilantro can be used as a substitute for Culantro. Oregano can be used as a substitute for Spanish Thyme.