Saturday, July 12, 2008

Salsa Verde

Going green...everyone seems to be heading in that direction. And a good thing too. Our little planet is straining a little more everyday under the pressure of the zillions of children (that would be us) she holds to her bosom. We use her gifts with no regard to what’s left in the larder. We clutter our playrooms with our toys and forget to pick up. We play mad scientist while the fumes from our experiments burn holes in the umbrella she holds up to protect us. Naughty, naughty children.

Slowly but ever so surely though, we are wizening up. All heads are unquestionably turning towards the one common goal of helping Mother Earth. Awareness, resources, and necessity are at different levels in different places -- so the pace of change is sometimes slow, sometimes fast -- but change is undeniably in the air. We are picking up after ourselves. We recycle. We lug our own bags to the grocery. We compost. We try to educate ourselves. We try to consume less and waste less.

We dream of a sustainable pig farm...ok, that’s just me. Anyways.

I am not a green goddess by any stretch of the imagination...the Earth has her own bone (or two) to pick with me. I use more than my fair share of paper (I love stationary and notepads...and paper towels). Ziplock and I are inseparable. I use too much dishwashing liquid and love to keep a plate under a stream of running water until I am 500% sure that there isn’t a trace of soap left. I smoke (oh wow. True confessions!).

On the upside, I do lug my own bags to market (I even have one for wine bottles!). I recycle as much paper as I can (not the paper towels). I try to support enterprises that are working towards this same goal (looking for locally-made Earth-friendly cleaning products? See here! They smell fabulous too!). So I hope I am not that errant of a child.

But just in’s a small, green bit of deliciousness in her honor...

Salsa Verde
(adapted from Donna Hay Magazine issue 23, page 70)

  • 1/2 cup dill leaves
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon capers in brine, drained (original recipe had 2 tablespoons salted capers, rinsed, but I can’t find any here)
  • 1-2 anchovy fillets (original recipe had 4 fillets, optional, but the anchovies I had were salty enough)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

- Place the dill, parsley, mint, capers, anchovies, garlic, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and process in short bursts until roughly chopped.
- Add lemon juice and olive oil and pulse a few times until just combined.

There are many versions of this herb sauce out there – Mexican (which would have things like tomatillos and jalapenos in it and is usually thinner/smoother in texture), French (sauce verte), Italian (gremolata is just one famous example), and German (Grüne Soße). This roughly chopped version I’ve made seems closest to Italian in origin.

I loved the chunkiness of this version along with its incredibly crisp and leafy flavour -- robust and clean at the same time. It goes amazingly well with fish...especially fish that is both fatty and flavourful like salmon. I also added it to some deviled eggs – yum! I imagine there must be heaps of other ways to use this as it is delicious!

I realize that that (up top) was quite a long-winded and perhaps a bit way-off introduction to a salsa verde recipe, but both in appearance and in taste, this was so brilliantly green and fresh and bright that it did turn my daydreams towards a world that could be the same way. Plus, everything in this gorgeous sauce is really a gift from a planet filled with life. And besides, anytime is the right time to talk about going green and saving the Earth :)


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A delicious sauce! An interesting combination of flavors!



Helen said...

I absolutely ADORE salsa verde! I just made a version with watercress which worked really well.

mtan said...

Thanks for posting this recipe Joey, I thought you were using tomatillos when you mentioned making the salsa verde a few days ago. But this is so much more easy to make! I have everything in my larder but the fresh herbs, will get some dill and parsley soon!

Joanna said...

Oooh, I don't keep fresh herbs on hand very often but right now I have an excess of fresh dill, mint, AND parsley. It's fate! I must make this sauce!

Manggy said...

Hey Joey, if there's anything you can do to help mother earth and yourself... Well, you know :) I hear as little as five minutes talking about it can aid in quitting. Maybe I can send you an e-mail, lol :) In other news, I went to Salcedo Village Market this morning... I was the confused-looking guy with a camera who must've circled it 30 times. I got 3 plants-- dill, rosemary, oregano. It saves on money, packaging, plus I get to keep some cute plants (I hope they live). I could make some yummy salsa verde but I don't know if my dill plant will survive after I denude it of 1/2 cup of leaves!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

I love salsa verde. . .your version sure looks like a packs a punch! Love the anchovies in the salsa.

Holler said...

Such gorgeousness! Sounds lovely and I have a jar of unopened capers in the cupboard :)

Anh said...

I haven't made salsa verde in ages!!! I love ti pair it with grilled fish and boiled/roasted potatoes. Delicious!

Ipshi said...

so many names but the minute i saw the beautiful green photo, it reminded me of the chutney my mom - and me at times- makes at home (of course minus the anchovies and capers), theres mint and cilantro alongwith parsley, lots of chillis and garlic. Theres so much similarity even though we're worlds apart...

Anonymous said...

hi! i really love your food shots! food looks really delicious. what lens/lighting do you use? :)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I just love salsa verde, especially on my morning eggs. Your looks so fresh and verdant! As for being green, I'm really trying, but I too still like paper towels way too much.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Rosa! It is :) It really gives a good herb-y punch :)

Hi Helen! Oooh, watercress! Will try that next time :)

Hi M! This is my first foray into salsa verde...I must try the Mexican one as well (as C is a huge Mexican food fan) but this is really simple and delicious!

Hi Joanna! It is fate! Hope you like it! :)

Hi Manggy! Thanks for always being generous with your baking, cooking, and medical bits of advice! All for free...lucky me :) I was in Salcedo too! Who did you buy the plants from? Was she a kindly lady whose kids help her out? I buy my herb plants from her and she is always so encouraging :) Despite the 4 thyme plants of hers that I have killed! Good luck with the plants!

Hi JS! The anchovies definitely pull everything together and gives it a kick!

Hi Holler! Thanks! Let me know if you get around to making it :)

Hi Anh! It is definitely a winner with fish...and sounds awesome with potatoes...must try that! :)

Hi Ipshi! I love seeing similarities among the dishes from around the world...we are all gastronomically connected somehow :) That chutney sounds delicious!!!

Hi Anonymous! Thanks :) My lens is a Nikon 28-70 mm... lighting is whatever sunlight the day decides to give me through my living room window :)

Hi Susan! I should try this on my morning eggs...thanks! It was really yummy in the deviled eggs :) Well, we do what we can...I’m still hopelessly devoted to paper towels although gone are the days when I would pull wads of it off, flinging my arm high in the air, just to clean up a little puddle...yikes!

Mónica said...

One of my favorites, a lovely summer sauce!

Erin said...

I love the vibrant green of salsa verde. I may have to make some up to go with the tilapia fillets I bought this morning.

Sherra said...

Going green is really the way to go now. I like your take on environmental concern with a bit of deliciousness. 'just timely, our company is having a design contest for one of our products with an environmental theme. If you know of someone who'll be interested to join the competition kindly refer them to this link:

Suzana said...

Joey, I'm with you in this. I still have a long way to go in what comes to being green, but I try!! Your salsa verde yells italian to me. I absolutely love it!

maybelles parents said...

this looks delicious, and I must say the photographs look like they are from donna hay.

kosenrufu mama said...

i love it and i use add pinenuts

Manggy said...

Hey Joey! I bought it from Gourmet's of Tagaytay. I didn't know there were any other shops that offered-- the flower shop didn't. Maybe I ought to take another look at that microscopic pic of you in Yummy so I can say hi next time!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Monica! It is perfect for the summer :)

Hi Erin! It would be great with some tilapia (another favourite fish!) :) Hope you enjoyed it!

Hi Sherra! I’ll check it out...thanks for the tip! (and cool job you got there!)

Hi Suzana! Every little effort counts :) I do what I can too :) Only after making this and reading up on salsa verde did I find out about all these different types!

Hi there Maybelles Parents! Oh my goodness thank you!!! I love her photos so that is the best complement you can give me :) :)

Hi Ester! I’ll try that next time...sounds yummy!

Hi Manggy! There is...the lady’s name is Delia, she is by the flowers, beside the wheatgrass person. She has all sorts of plants in her stall, not just herbs (I bought my Christmas palm from her last year). I just bought a chilli pepper plant from her recently...wish me luck! Yes, if you see me flag me the picture in Yummy, I am usually in big, cheapy sunnies :) If I see you I’ll do the same!

creampuff said...

Hey! I was just reading about salsa verde in a magazine and now I see it here. It's beautiful!

White On Rice Couple said...

What a beautiful salsa, I just love all your herbs in it.
I'm running to the garden now to collect some to make this!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Ivonne! It’s really a lovely sparklingly fresh and so good with many things :)

Hi White on Rice Couple! Oooh! I wish I had a garden like yours!

Gourmet Traveller said...

I love salsa verde but haven't made it in a long time. Thanks for reminding me! This'll be perfect for a barbeque or some grilled fish.

ChichaJo said...

Hi GT! Yup...great with grilled stuff! kingdom for an outdoor grill!