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Spring Buttermilk Coulis

March 17, 2016

Looking for a sauce to drizzle on just about anything? This Spring Buttermilk Coulis is just that. Don’t let the word “coulis” scare you from making this. Coulis (koo-lee) is just a fancy word for “a sauce made with puréed vegetables or fruit and used as a base or garnish”. This coulis is at the heart of spring cooking and it’s simple to make.  Many of the ingredients are readily available at farmers markets this time of year.

Ever heard of green garlic? What started out as farmers thinning their rows of garlic to allow the bulbs to fully mature, has turned into a wildly popular and sought after ingredient. When very young, green garlic looks similar to green onions. As the weeks pass, they grow bigger and start to look like young leeks, eventually turning into heads of garlic. This photo shows both green garlic (the bottom two) and spring onions, available in red and white, purchased from Full Belly Farm at the Thursday Marin Farmers’ Market one week apart. As you can see, both have doubled in size.

Spring Onions and Green Garlic-Gather Weekly

Green garlic makes a cameo appearance for a few weeks from late winter to early spring. Unlike the papery skinned onions and garlic bulbs you see at the grocery store, green garlic has a short shelf life. Since they haven’t matured the flavor is much more mild and can be used raw without being overpowering.

My go-to use of these marvelous alliums is this; slice green garlic, spring onions, and leeks. Sauté in olive oil on low heat so that the vegetables soften without taking on any color. With this mixture on hand, I can add it to many dishes to enhance flavor. A few of my favorite ways to use it is to add to omelets, soups and when puréed, spread on a sandwich.

We drizzled this Spring Buttermilk Coulis (well, I slathered it) over wild salmon. Delicious! The coulis can also be used as a dip for vegetables, as salad dressing (a hit with my family) or with chicken.


Spring Buttermilk Coulis


Spring Buttermilk Coulis

Spring Buttermilk Coulis


  • 1/4 cup each, dill, fennel fronds (the frilly green tops from a fennel bulb, looks like dill*), Italian parsley and chives chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced green garlic (as these grow larger in their season you may want to use less for they will become more pronounced in flavor)
  • 1/2 cup sliced spring onions
  • PLEASE NOTE: stainless steel "dry" measuring cups were used for the quantities of all ingredients above (herbs, garlic and onions)
  • 1 tablespoon meyer lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used slightly more than this but start here, you can always add more if you like)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • *i had a bulb of fennel. I never know what to do with the fronds so I added them. They are optional


  1. Put all ingredients in a blender (I used a vitamin) and blend until smooth

That pretty garnish? Rosemary blossoms from my backyard. I see them everywhere right now at parks in parking lots and shopping centers around town. They make a charming garnish in a gin and tonic too!



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