The area of Paramin, perched breathtakingly high atop the mountains of Trinidad’s Northern Range, is the herb basket of the country. The steeply sloped hillsides and cool mountain air make the region ideal for growing herbs like shado beni, chives, thyme, and parsley. The Creole-descent farmers who cultivate these plants are the go-to guys for every Trinidadian cook, since their spices are an absolute necessity for the local pantry. The addition of shallots, onions, and vinegar, and the omission of oregano, makes it a bit different from standard green seasoning used elsewhere on the island although you can substitute one for the other where any Caribbean recipe calls for green seasoning.
MAKES 1 CUP
– 4 large shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped
– 1 cup minced fresh chives
– 1/4-cup minced fresh thyme
– 1/4-cup stemmed and chopped flat leaf parsley
– 2 tablespoons minced shado beni or cilantro leaves
– 1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
– 4 cloves garlic
– 1/2-teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
– 1/2-teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
– 2 tablespoons white vinegar
Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or blender and puree. If you need to add a bit more vinegar—amount 1 teaspoon at a time--to achieve a smooth, somewhat liquid paste. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.