Green Seasoning

Green Seasoning is a herb mixture preserved in vinegar and salt, generally associated with Trinidad & Tobago but commonly found across the Caribbean and as far away as Brazil and the southern United States. Trinidadan green seasoning is distinguished by the use of the local herb shado beni (Mexican coriander). The term "seasoning" in this context refers to what most of us would call a marinade, as opposed to something added during or after cooking. The precise mix of herbs differs from island to island and some chefs will vary the mixture according to what they are planning to cook.

Ingredients (enough to use for marinading 2-3 meals for 4 people)

I have not given quantities for the herbs, as this depends entirely on taste. The best approach is to experiment and adjust until you have a balance that you are happy with. Some herbs such as parsley are less dominant than others such as thyme or coriander, so you can afford to use more of them without upsetting the balance. All herbs should be in fresh leaf form if at all possible, although I guess that oregano could be used in dried form as it holds its flavour well when dried. Recipes tend to advise against including onion and garlic in green seasoning, but rather using these at the cooking stage.

white wine vinegar


Gather your fresh herbs. Pictured here you can see (left-right) broad-leaf parsley, celery, basil, chives, oregano, thyme. Although there's almost always fresh coriander in my house, on this occasion I decided to make my seasoning without.

The first task is to prepare the herbs. Pick all of the leaves (except the chives of course) and then wash and thoroughly dry the prepared herbs.

The chives should be cut into roughly 8cm lengths, this will make the blitzing process much easier.

The celery doesn't need to be peeled, just washed and cut into 4cm pieces.

Put the mixture into a blender, add some vinegar and begin to purée.

You need to be patient here, stopping the machine and stirring the mix from time to time. It is important that you do not add too much vinegar or the seasoning will end up thin and runny.
Eventually, with patience, you will get a thick, foamy seasoning mix.

If you have overdone the vinegar and the result is too thin, don't despair. Drain quickly through a sieve, collecting both solids and liquid.

Then put the solids into a container and stir some of the strained liquid back in until the consistency is just right.

Finally, add some salt to taste.

Et voilà. Your green seasoning. Seal the container and store in the fridge. It should retain its potency for a good couple of weeks.