It’s officially Spring and we’ve been seeing beautiful green at the market.
Spring is the season for fresh asparagus, green garlic and peas. Green garlic looks similar to scallions but definitely smell like a pleasantly mild version of traditional garlic. Green garlic also known as spring or young garlic is basically immature garlic, harvested before the bulbs have a chance to fully develop. It is only available a few short weeks a year. When it becomes available, I stock up and make my favorite cilantro garlic chutney.
How do you use Cilantro Garlic Chutney?
This is my mom’s recipe with a few minor adjustments. I grew up eating this chutney mixed into a variety of different dishes such as lamb and fish curries. My favorite dish to make with this is salmon. I marinate salmon in chutney and pan fry by blackening the skin first to form a crust. I finish it off with extra sauce on top. Dinner is ready in no time. excellent drizzled on top of roasted potatoes.
It can also serve as a dip, mixed in with yogurt on a crudite platter with crackers or pita chips, as pictured above. Sprinkle cumin or garam masala on top and garnish with cilantro. It’s similar to a pesto or gremolata in its use and versatility. The flavor is all in the chutney.
Can I freeze as a paste and add yogurt later?
We started using green garlic a few years ago and noticed such a vibrant difference in taste. I became obsessed with the flavor. Now my mom and I make a big batch and freeze as a paste, without the yogurt added in. You can add when serving. I store the paste in individual serving portions so that we can serve it up at a moments notice when friends stop by for a visit. I add a good glug of oil on top before it goes into the freezer.
What if I can’t find green garlic?
If you can no longer find green garlic, use regular garlic. Roast the garlic whole which not only makes peeling the skins easier but also brings out its sweet flavor or simply peel the skins and chop into your blender or food processor.
Can I make this dairy-free?
I love having this on hand. You can leave out yogurt and thin with water or plant based yogurt for a dairy-free option. Add coconut flakes for added flavor or leave out spice if you have kids for a milder version.
Cilantro Garlic Chutney
Top 8 free. Sesame Free.
Serving: makes about 1 cup
- 1 head cilantro, stems included
- 1-2 hot green chile, chopped (optional)
- 2 stalks green garlic, bottoms cut or 44 medium garlic cloves, chopped. *See Notes
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2- 3 tablespoons EVOO
- 1/4 cup full fat yogurt or plant based yogurt( for dairy-free). If you’d like it thinner, start with 1 additional tablespoon at a time, up to 1/2 cup for desired consistency.
To make paste:
Combine cilantro, chiles, garlic, lemon juice, salt and EVOO in a blender or Vitamix ( if using green garlic). Blend, pushing down with a rubber spatula, as needed, until smooth. It will be thick.
Keep as paste, double recipe and store in individual serving sizes in freezer. If using mini glass jars, pour about 1 tablespoon of EVOO or enough to cover top; this helps with discoloration. Leave room on top as food expands when frozen or store in freezer safe bags. Thaw when ready to use and add yogurt before serving.
To make chutney:
Pour yogurt into bowl. Add contents from blender into yogurt. Taste and adjust with more salt, lemon juice, yogurt or thin out with additional water or oil to desired consistency.
- Green garlic’s stems can be fibrous. It is best to use a very high powered blender such as a Vitamix to break it down well. Do not use a food processor. If you don’t own a Vitamix, I recommend using regular garlic instead.
- This recipe includes yogurt so your chutney will be less green of a color than the above picture. The picture above is meant to show the chutney as a paste before adding in yogurt to make it creamy and a pourable consistency.
- My mom’s original recipe calls for up to 5 cloves of garlic. I reduced the amount of garlic here but feel free to add or decrease based on desired taste preference.