Parsley has to be one of the most delicious and abundant herbs in a spring kitchen garden.
This morning I had no idea I’d be harvesting a large amount of parsley, or potatoes etc. A story you’ll find on my Instagram post
I decided that with most ingredients to hand, both in the garden and pantry, a Chimichurri inspired sauce was what I would make. The fresh parsley taste at this time of year is unbeatable, and this sauce features it beautifully.
The chimichurri sauce I make uses the food processor to speed things up. I’m not Armenian, and I don’t pretend that this is anywhere near the expertise of the traditional recipe. However I am constantly looking for world cuisine inspiration, and the fresh ingredients this sauce uses from the garden is delicious. I keep the finished sauce in the fridge for about a week, and use it in a number of things.
My Chimichurri Inspired Sauce can be used as a marinade, folded through a green linguini and nut pasta, as a flavourful ingredient in a pizza base sauce, or savoury yoghurt, dips and cheeses. I’m sure you’ll think of other uses too.
The recipes I make are always based on what I have ‘to hand’. Fresh food moves directly from garden to kitchen to table where possible, in my home. So substitutions become necessary sometimes.
A traditional Chimichurri would use wine vinegar, however I use concentrated lime juice from my tree, stored in my fridge. Whereas fresh garlic is preferred for this recipe, I used dried garlic granules. You could use minced garlic or garlic paste if you have it. I used curly parsley, whereas flat parsley is traditionally used. I don’t like coriander, so I used all parsley. If you’re interested in traditional chimichurri just do an internet search using those key words.
Garden to Table
The opening pic shows all the fresh ingredients I used from my garden, which you’ll find in the recipe below. To this I added 2 tsp dried garlic granules, 1/3cup concentrated lime juice, 2/3cup extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of brown sugar (optional).
What I enjoy about this fridge-fixer recipe is, it involves no cooking and can be used as an ingredient in vegetarian, vegan or meat dishes.
I like to let my Chimichurri sauce ‘cure’ its flavours for a day or so before using. But you might need it in a hurry. It works either way.
Chimichurri Inspired Sauce
Makes: Approximately 1.5 cups or 1 large Jar
100 gram parsley (flat or curly)
15 gram spring onion/shallots
2 small sprigs oregano
2 very small chilli, seeds removed
2 teaspoons dried garlic granules
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
Pinch sea salt
Pinch brown sugar (optional)
Roughly chop spring onions, parsley, oregano, chilli.
Measure the olive oil and lime juice into the same measuring jug, for ease of use later
Put half the greens, chilli and garlic into the food processor, add half the lime juice & oil
Process on high till smooth.
Add the rest of the ingredients and process till smooth
Put your sauce into clean sterilised jars and store in the fridge
Use the sauce within a week
I hope you enjoy having another idea to use up your beautiful homegrown or gifted, parsley supplies.
Disclaimer… Please do your own research for your own needs and context. The author assumes no responsibility for any outcomes of anyone using this well researched and documented blog post. Enjoy making your chimichurri inspired sauce.
One of the most exciting parts of growing the beautiful ‘Golden Goddess’ Turmeric, is harvesting it!
Because turmeric root is the useful part, seeing your eventual rhizome harvest after 12 months of waiting, is very much like an ‘unboxing’.
Then of course, you need to process and preserve your turmeric.
My guess is, you already know about the amazing benefits of turmeric.
So what I’m focussing on in today’s blog is processing and preserving the rhizomes in two ways. These are not the only ways.
Pregnant or nursing mothers, children, diabetics or anyone with existing health conditions or allergies, should consult their health professional’s advice before consuming fresh or preserved turmeric.
Growing, harvesting, preserving and using your turmeric harvest is so satisfying. I highly recommend it. I hope you enjoy using your powder and paste for the many recipes and drinks these lovely turmeric products make possible 🌸
Quick Background: Followers of my Instagram Vintagetrishgarden know that I started my little turmeric ‘plantation’ in November 2017 with one 3cm rhizome bought from an organic providore. Since then, I replanted my entire harvest of rhizomes in June 2018, to overwinter, in-situ. The turmeric broke ground in November 2018, and this May 2019, I harvested 621 gram of turmeric. If I were to buy fresh turmeric at current prices in my area it would cost $24.69 per kilo, and that is not organic–mine is. I’ve returned 300g of rhizomes to the little 1 metre x 40cm strip ‘plantation’ for this growing season, and am processing 321gram in the following ways. Next harvest – May 2020.
How I decided to preserve this turmeric harvest
Turmeric Powder for pantry storage
Fresh Turmeric Paste divided into refrigerated and frozen portions
Uses: Curry pastes, Soups, Smoothies, Teas, Golden milk and much more
Preparation after Harvest
All the turmeric rhizomes were well washed and then set to dry out a little for 1 week after harvest. Use a covered basket, which prevents dust but allows air circulation (prevents mould.) This makes the rhizomes more easily handled and retains more of the rhizome when peeled, in my experience. They shrink a little from their plumped up, ‘just harvested look’, at this stage.
Advice: Fresh turmeric stains anything it contacts, yellow. Wear disposable gloves, protect benches and wash plates and utensils soon after using them when working with it.
All small knobbly parts of the rhizomes were broken off and kept in a seperate bowl.
The now more easily peeled large sections were peeled with a hand peeler.
All unpeeled ‘small knobbles,’ and peels, were put aside for the paste recipe.
The large peeled turmeric rhizomes were sliced into 3mm width slices using a mandolin slicer with a thickness dial. (I opted for using the mandolin slicer because it keeps slices a consistent width which means drying in the dryer is more uniform, if all are the same width–which means the turmeric will powder easily.)
The turmeric slices were arranged in a single layer on two trays of my food dryer, with one empty tray on the bottom to prevent over-drying.
My food dryer has one setting–so I let the turmeric slices dry for 1.5 hours. I decided after checking at the 1.5hr mark that 30 mins more would get it to the optimal dried state for processing into powder-slices should be dry not ‘bendy’. I did swap the bottom slice tray to the top at this stage, as they tend to dry more quickly than the top trays in my dryer model. You will need to use your own judgement on this depending on what drying method you use. Since I have never used an oven to dry turmeric I am not going to give advice on it, except to say that you are trying to dry (not bake) the turmeric– so the oven would have to be set very low, and would presumably take longer than mine did in the food dryer.
The dried turmeric slices were removed from the dryer trays and put into my food processor to process into powder, on High for 3 mins, then another burst on High for 2 mins. Yes, it takes that long if you want fine powder. It would take longer again if you are grinding the dried slices using mortar and pestle.
The powder was removed from the processor and put into a glass jar for storage in my pantry. * Storage times vary for differing conditions and climates. Use your own judgement and research*
Store turmeric powder away from heat and light in the pantry.
Fresh Turmeric Paste
Fresh turmeric processed (fine or grated), black pepper, organic coconut oil, water
Equipment: Grater or food processor, stovetop, pot, whisk/spoon, spatula
The kept aside large fresh rhizome peels and unpeeled fresh ‘small knobbles’ were pulverised in my food processor. Alternatively you could grate them.
For every 3 inches of rhizome, you use 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper and 1/3cup water divided. Just do your best to estimate the amount of rhizomes you have–since it’s a paste it’s a fairly ‘forgiving’ recipe, but take care with the amount of water you add, do that ‘by eye’ especially with the other half of the water in step 6.
In my case I was using the peelings and small rhizome knobbles which amounted to 7 inches of rhizome (so…the recipe amounts multiplied by 2.5). This meant I used 5 tablespoons coconut oil 2.5 tsp fresh ground black pepper and 3/4 cup water, divided.
Put all solid ingredients into a pot on the stove over medium heat–with only half the amount of water you need to add.
Using a whisk or spoon, stir all ingredients till combined over medium heat till bubbles form around the side. It may take a little time for the coconut oil to melt if your weather is cool.
Reduce heat to medium low and cook, slowly adding the remaining water until the mixture forms a paste. The coconut oil tends to slide and glide away from the side of the pot once it reaches this held-together paste.
Transfer the paste using a spatula or spoon into a glass jar or container.
Leave to cool, put lid on and refrigerate. Alternatively, put paste into ice cube trays, freeze, pop ice cube portions into a container for easy access when needed.
As a guide only, this paste can usually be stored for 2 weeks in the fridge–use your own judgement. Frozen paste portions store longer.
Disclaimer… Please do your own research for your own needs and context. The author assumes no responsibility for any outcomes of anyone using this well researched and documented blog post. Enjoy making and using your turmeric powder and paste.