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.
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. It’s 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 sumac on top and garnish with cilantro or pretty chive blossoms. It is similar to a pesto or gremolata in its use and versatility. The flavor is all in the chutney.
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.
Once the chutney is prepared, mix everything together to cook. My favorite dish to make with this is salmon. I marinate the salmon in the 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.
If you can no longer find green garlic, regular garlic works perfect. 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.
I love having this on hand because it’s also allergy friendly; free of the top 8 allergens. You can leave out the yogurt and thin it out with water or coconut yogurt for a dairy-free option. Add coconut flakes for added flavor or leave out the spice if you have kids or desire a milder version.
Cilantro Garlic Chutney
Top 8 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 2 medium garlic cloves, chopped. *See Notes
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons EVOO
- 1/4 cup full fat yogurt or coconut 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.
Combine the 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.
Pour the yogurt into a bowl. Add the contents from the blender into the 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. That is good! The picture above is meant to show the chutney as a paste before adding in yogurt to make it creamy and a pourable consistency.