A Plate Full of Veggies: Green Curry Paste

Using fresh, hot green chiles gives this seasoning a good deal of heat so when adding to recipes, start out with a small amount (1?2 teaspoon) and add more as your preference dictates. Use in stir-fry dishes, salad dressings, sauces, vegetable soups and stews. MAKES 1/2 CUP

• 2 cloves garlic
• 2 teaspoons grated ginger
• 1/2 onion
• 1 tablespoon black bean paste
• 7 green chile peppers
• 6 fresh or dried lemon verbena leaves or 2 stalks lemongrass, minced
• 3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
• 1 sprig fresh rosemary
• 1?2 teaspoon Brazilian green peppercorns, cracked
• 1?2 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1?2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
• 1?2 to 2 teaspoons olive oil

1. In a food processor, combine garlic and ginger. Process until finely chopped. Add onion and black bean paste. Process until finely chopped. Add chile peppers and process until finely chopped. Add lemon verbena, parsley, rosemary, peppercorns, coriander, cumin and salt. Process with the motor running and add the sesame oil through the opening in the lid. Process until a smooth paste is achieved, adding olive oil slowly, in drops, as required for a smooth paste.

2. Cover tightly or spoon into a sterilized jar and cap with the lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Author of 12 cookbooks including her latest, Everyday Flexitarian (Whitecap Books, 2011), Pat Crocker is a culinary herbalist and green cook.

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