Salsa verde is a vibrant green sauce that takes full advantage of your herb garden.
There are a whole slew of variations on green sauce -- with cornichons and perhaps shallots or with lemon zest and minced garlic -- and endless possible combinations of tender, green herbs that will help your salsa enhance whatever you happen to be cooking.
Last night, I used Nigel Slater's recipe in Appetite.
I have also used Suzanne Goin's version in Sunday Suppers at Lucques and Judy Rodgers' recipe in The Zuni Cafe Cookbook with great satisfaction. Yesterday, while thumbing through Canal House Cooking, Volume 1, I stumbled across a terrific looking Salsa Verde that goes the Moroccan route, using preserved lemon peel.
When you are in the salsa verde groove however, you don't really need a recipe at all. It becomes second nature, tossing the fistfuls of herbs into the food processor or mortar.
Currently, I am not really in that groove, hence the cookbooks.
Most salsa verdes with their herby piquancy bring fish, lamb, potatoes, and beef to life. But truthfully, they taste good with just about anything.
Slater suggests parsley, mint, anchovy, capers, dijon, lemon and olive oil. I threw in a handful of cilantro as well. The flavor was good, but I would have preferred a little less emulsification. I think in this case, the mortar and pestle would have been more useful tools. The mustard and the oil in the food processor made a salsa that was a little too thick for last nights application -- oven-roasted salmon.
A slightly runnier, and less mustardy sauce would have been more appropriate for this particular fish.
I feel confident that the remaining salsa verde will be better suited to tonight's grilled tri-tip.
1 large bunch of Italian parsley, just the leaves
1 small bunch mint, leaves only
3 to 6 anchovy fillets
2 to 3 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
6 or so tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 a lemon, just the juice
Add the parsley, mint, anchovies, capers, and mustard to the bowl of a food processor. Turn it on and slowly add the olive oil, reducing the ingredients to a slush. Don't over-process, so as to leave a sauce with some texture. Taste the sauce and add lemon juice as you go. Add salt, only if necessary.