Salsa Verde…version 564
Spending time in Mexico led me to believe that all salsa verdes included tomatillos. But no…if you follow the latin-based language back across the ocean salsa verde looks a tad different. Still ground into a potent green sauce, Italian and Spanish salsa verde usually involves anchovies, parsley and capers. Garlic and lemon are a friendly addition to this mix as well.
Capers are the pickled edible flower buds of the caper bush (or Flinder Rose), though there are other seeds that can be used. What’s known as a “Poor Man’s Caper” is made from Nasturtium seeds which are more tangy and peppery than caper buds. Capers are grown in Turkey, Morocco, and Spain, but the main production happens on the islands of Pantelleria and Salina off the coast of Sicily. These adorable buddies pack a suitcase of flavor into a miniature parcel and can liven up nearly any salad, fish or vegetable dish.
Parsley is one of my kitchen Helpers that improves everything with its bitter-and-almost-sweet punch that can round out any fare. When in doubt, add parsley.
Anchovies can play a similar Helper role by adding an umami depth that is (generally) not ‘fishy’, just tasty. These small fish are usually salt-cured; marinated with lemon, mustard or vinegar; or preserved with olive oil then packaged in small cans for resale. They are common in many Italian dishes—check out ‘Life in Italy’ for more about these energy-efficient little seafarers.
Salsa Verde goes especially well with fish and shellfish, but can also add zest to vegetables, pasta, potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, beef and lamb. I may have to try out a Salsa Verde Potato Salad with Hard Boiled Eggs this summer…it could be a great potluck dish for a steamy July evening.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Blend together in a food processor or grind with a mortar and pestle until it forms a green paste:
1 Garlic clove, chopped
1 1/2 cups Parsley, chopped (a small bunch)
2 Green Onions, chopped
3 Anchovy fillets
1 Tablespoon Capers
Dash of Dijon Mustard
Drizzle or whisk in:
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Fresh Mint, minced (optional)
Serve with grilled tuna, pasta, vegetables or crostini.
One more gem from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi and Tree House Yoga.