There are two reasons why I really like this seasoning mixture, and they are both equally important to me. The first one is that I don't have to fight the smell of garlic and onions on my hands whenever I use it. The other reason is because it works almost like your own signature flavour that everyone can recognize on your cooking without really knowing where it comes from. It's that certain something that makes your dishes unique.
In Brazil this kind of seasoning is often found in specialty food stores and certainly in most homes. I actually don't remember ever seeing my mom chopping an onion or garlic cloves. Instead, she would heat up some oil and cook the seasoning in it. The moment the seasoning starts to cook in the oil, the whole kitchen fills up with an aroma that says: home cooking.
Not been able to find it here in Seattle, I was encouraged to make my own. This is a very loose recipe, you can change things around. Once you find a mix that works for you, stick with it and you will get that signature taste.
This recipe makes a lot so freeze it or give to friends and family (and become a star!). I get 5- 16 oz jars filled up. I place one in the fridge for immediate use and the rest in the freezer. This is a year's worth of supply for me. Thankfully, because peeling 6 heads of garlic is not my way of having fun...
Herb Seasoning Salt Recipe:
2 green peppers
3 large onions
6 whole heads of garlic
1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley
1 bunch of green onions
1 bunch of fresh bay leaves
about 2 pounds of salt
Remove seeds from green peppers, remove the internal white membrane and roughly chop it.
Peel and quarter onions.
Peel all garlic cloves.
Place all ingredients except the salt in the food processor and mix until smooth.
You won't be able to fit it all in once, so start by pulsing the herbs and adding the onions and garlic as space becomes available.
Pour the blended mixture into a large bowl.
Add salt and mix it with a spatula until you get a grainy consistency, this will take more or less 2 pounds of salt. I use kosher salt.
Transfer the final product to designated containers. They can be kept in the fridge or frozen for later use.
- Use the seasoning in soups, stews, rice, beans, meats, just about anything.
- You will need to use very little to season your foods, a little really goes a long way.
- Just heat a little olive oil or vegetable oil, add the amount of seasoning desired and cook for a quick minute before proceeding with the remaining ingredients.
- You can use this seasoning mix when a recipe calls for cooking chopped onions and garlic.
- When using this mix on a dish, adjust the salt at the end because the seasoning is already quite salty.
You can find pre-peeled garlic sold in jars and it will make the task easier. However, I think the freshness of the ingredients on this recipe is really important, so I buy whole heads and bare the task of peeling them one by one. But then again, I just have to do it once a year, or so.