I bet you’re wondering if there was a mistake with the title of this post, oh but it does resemble pesto doesn’t it? Well I have news for you my friend, this herbaceous seasoning is known as Caribbean green seasoning. The equivalent of Italy’s pesto, green seasoning is a poignant element in Caribbean cooking. The Eastern Caribbean islands such as Trinidad, Barbados tend to use this as a marinade in meat or fish dishes to enhance the flavour.
In the Spanish speaking Caribbean islands, they call it Sofrito, which is essentially the same thing.
Each cook has their own version of the quantity of herbs that are used, so the taste will differ ever so slightly. The ingredients range from; cilantro, culantro, parsley, celery, pimento, bell peppers, onion, scallion, garlic, thyme, spanish thyme and scotch bonnet for a kick.
I like to add a red peppers to green seasoning which creates a dark green/brown hue instead. In spite of any personal adaptations, it is important to note that there is a undeniable trend of how deliciously green and nutritious the end result is.
One of the key ingredients is culantro (Chandon beni and Spanish thyme) sadly living in the diaspora doesn’t offer me the luxury of obtaining these 2 staples.
Now the secret is out there, everyone will know the quintessential foundation to exotic tasting Caribbean food. Your meat dishes will permeate thoroughly with the aromatic flavour of Caribbean green seasoning and you will thank me for sharing this wondering taste of paradise with you.
I usually chop up all of the ingredients and rinse them thoroughly in a colander to eliminate any dirt
The next step is to pulse in either a blender or food processor – I used my blender which created more of a puree texture. If you want a course texture then I recommend using a food processor instead. You might need to add some 1tbsp or two of olive oil to help liquidise the seasoning.
Depending on the frequency of use, store in freezer (ice cube tray) to preserve shelf life. If you intend to use it often, store in refrigerator for up to 1 month.
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- ½ bunch of parsley
- 4 scallions (chives), chopped
- 1 head of garlic, peeled
- 1 bunch of thyme (about 8 sprigs)
- 1 stalk of celery
- 2 pimento peppers
- pinch of himalayan pink salt
- 1 small onion, sliced
- ½ red bell pepper
- Transfer all of the ingredients into a colander and rinse thoroughly
- Place all of the ingredients into either a blender or food processor (if using food processor blitz on high speed until the bulk of the herbs have broken down into a course texture, remembering to pulse and scrape the sides.
- If using a blender blitz until a puree is formed, feel free to add a tbsp or two of olive oil to help things move along quickly.
- store in container in a cool place
Lasts up to 2 months in refrigerator
Colour of seasoning may vary depending on ingredients used and intensity of flavour may cause darkening - this is perfectly normal.