garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
4 to 8
jalapeños, seeded and sliced
teaspoons fresh lemon juice, more to taste
packed cups roughly chopped cilantro leaves and stems
teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground cardamom or coriander
teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
cup extra-virgin olive oil
teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), plus more to taste
- Place garlic, jalapeño and lemon juice in a food processor or blender, and pulse to combine, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container with a spatula when necessary.
- Add cilantro, cumin, cardamom or coriander, and pepper, and purée until smooth. With the motor running, gradually drizzle in the olive oil to form a homogeneous paste. Pulse in salt. Taste, and add more salt and lemon juice if needed.
- Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Use as a sauce for grilled or roasted meat or seafood, especially full-flavored fish like mackerel, tuna and salmon; spoon it over egg dishes like shakshuka and scrambled eggs; stir it into soups and stews; spread it on sandwiches, especially those filled with falafel, roasted vegetables, or mozzarella and tomato; swirl it into thick yogurt or hummus for a dip.