Have you ever wondered why ethnic foods from the islands tastes so heavenly? Every single country lining the Caribbean is a home to some of the most delicious foods in the world. A flavor punch and burst in every single bite. Be it their meats, seafood, stews, curries and even rice. Everything tastes wonderful. Why? What’s their secret? Simple… they go beyond just “Salt & Pepper”… way beyond!!
For example, look at this heaping bottle of Green seasoning. It’s a Caribbean essential. This is a powerhouse of flavors coming from fresh herbs and aromatics, all bottled together. Everything fresh, vibrant and just screaming FLAVORS. This green bottle has different names going from island to island. Haitians may call it Epis. Purto Ricans or Cubans know it as their beloved sofrito or Recaito. That bottle might have plus or minus a few ingredients. But no Caribbean household ‘pot’ is complete without the generous presence of this green magic. This is what gives so much depth and flavor to their food. They literally use this in E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Well then, if you want to jazz up that bland food a tad bit, let’s learn more about the green seasoning. This one comes from a special place in their heart…
What is Green Seasoning?
Green seasoning is a key ingredient and quintessential element behind the flavorful Caribbean cooking. Though almost every island country has their own blend of this seasoning, it’s believed that Trinidad is the home base for this creation. It can be made with just a few simple ingredients like onion, garlic, peppers, ginger, and a few herbs. Or it can be a bit more complex with the addition of more herbs. Once you have this in your cooking arsenal, you can use it as a marinade for all kinds of meats and seafood. Then this can be a great flavor booster in all your stews, curries, soups, rices and much more.
Why Green Seasoning will become a staple in your refrigerator
- This is the easiest thing to make in the whole universe. Just give everything a rough chop and pulse it a few times in a blender. That’s how easy its make up is.
- This seasoning will make your meal prep and cooking easier. Just marinate your meat for a few hours and throw it on the barbie or in the oven. Making stews and curries? Generous spoonfuls is all it needs.
- You are using only fresh, healthy ingredients. Give a big miss to food coloring, additives, chemicals and preservatives. This is a healthier alternative to bouillon cubes and packaged flavor enhancers.
- It’s your green seasoning, so personalize it. Use what you have available to you. Don’t go out of your way to get any one ingredient. It will always end up good.
- It stores extremely well to keep you company for a long, long time.
- NO MORE BLAND, BORING FOOD. Only tastier food loaded with nutrients. That’s a single enough reason for me to whip this one up.
This is what we are blending today
- Scallions or Green onions
- Culantro – Or chadon beni as Trinis call it. Optional, if you can find it. It’s like cilantro but stronger.
- Bell peppers (we use all colors )
- Cubanelle peppers
- Hot pepper – habanero.
- Lemon juice
How to make Green seasoning
Once you decide what you are blending together, it’s just a matter of blending everything in your food processor or blender. Just a few tips:
1. Wash all herbs and peppers and pat them dry.
2. Roughly chop everything so it’s easier to process and blend. This makes a lot, so you might need to work in batches. In the end, stir it all together in a large bowl so everything is consistently blended.
3. We like chunkier and thick green seasoning, rather than smooth and runny. That being said, blend to your desired consistency. You might need a little water to make everything come together.
4. Store in clean glass jars. Mason jars are perfect. Some people store it in plastic squirt bottles. This can easily refrigerate well for 2-3 weeks. If you are not a frequent user, this freezes extremely well. You can divide it into smaller portions in smaller jars. Or, freeze it in ice cube trays. Once completely frozen, store the cubes in freezer bags.
The real beauty of this seasoning is in its variations
We suggest making this seasoning with your favorite herbs and things that you commonly use in your cooking.
- Lots of people add onion along with scallions.
- Play with peppers. The most commonly used mild peppers are bell peppers, cubanelle, and pimento peppers. Common hot peppers are scotch bonnet and habanero.
- Adding olive oil, vinegar or even salt is common practice. These help preserve it for a longer time.
- Add or subtract herbs. Don’t like cilantro? Your seasoning doesn’t have to have it. Love rosemary or tarragon? Throw some in. Even basil and mint can find their way into this amazingly versatile seasoning. Just remember, herbs like basil and mint are strong and can overpower the blend, so use them sparingly.
So, would you like the presence of this fresh, vibrant green bottle in your refrigerator? It’s a guaranteed way to impart the genuine taste of traditional island flavors into your food. GypsyPlate is coming up with all kinds of curries and stews from the Caribbean in the future, and all of them will take a generous scoop out of this bottle. Stay tuned and subscribe to get them straight to your email. Step up your game up a notch and cook with fresh herbs. Why? Fresh is always better!
Trinidadian Green Seasoning, in my Gypsy Bowl… enjoy!
Love sauces? Try some of our others from around the world:
Jamaican Jerk Marinade
Cilantro Mint Chutney
Puerto Rican Sofrito
North African Chermoula
5 Minute Pesto
Cuban Mojo Marinade
Smokin’ Hot Chipotle Mayo
- 8 scallions or green onions
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1/2 bunch parsley
- 8-10 culantro leaves (optional)
- 13-15 garlic cloves
- 12-13 sprigs of thyme
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper
- 1/2 green bell pepper
- 1-2 habanero peppers
- 2 cubanelle peppers
- 1/4 inch ginger
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- Wash all herbs and peppers and pat them dry with pepper towel.
- Roughly chop all the ingredients, except lemon, and mix them together in a bowl.
- Blend everything, along with lemon juice and 1/2 cup of water, in a food processor in batches. Add more water if needed. Scrape down from the sides if needed. Blend till you get desired consistency. We like it thick and coarse.
- Store it in clean air tight mason jars and refrigerate.
Leftovers can be frozen in ice trays. Once frozen, place cubes in ziploc bag and freeze up to three months. This is a convenient way to store leftovers, so you can choose how many cubes to use.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 41Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 8mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 2g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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