When a pot of Salsa Verde, deep green and swamped in extra virgin olive oil, is plonked in the centre of the table along with fresh, raw slices of fennel, I know we’re in high summer. So typically Italian – just put two or three perfectly matched ingredients together – a handful of parsley, anchiovies and capers – mince them almost to a paste, and drown it in oil. Then just spread it around.
Salsa Verde, the Summer Condiment
I have to stop myself with Salsa Verde, in the same way other people need to exert control over a jar of almond butter or Nutella. After shooting for this post I ate all the pinzimonio, each piece coated with a green sheen (and topped with prosciutto crudo di Parma). I scoffed the slices of salsa-smudged, lightly toasted Paleo bread. Then I thoroughly coated a bowl of raw zucchini noodles with another hefty tablespoon and slurped them down. I was reaching for more when I saw that the level of the jar had decreased by a third – that’s quite a lot of extra virgin! Even if it is good for you.
Salsa Verde is one of those condiments I make at least once each summer. It’s the best way I know of for using the bunches of fresh, flat leaf parsley which needs to be cut back at this time of year. Everyone has their own variation of this recipe. Though all are based on parsely, anchiovies, capers and garlic, you’ll find additions of lemon zest, mustard and basil. Quantities of the ingredients will vary according to personal taste, and that’s the way to go. In this version, I’ve substituted fresh chives for the garlic, because I need to be careful with how much I feed my FODMAP loving gut microbes.
I’m a purist when it comes to finely chopping the herbs for Salsa Verde and Basil Pesto. A food processor, to be sure, would be quicker, but I find the rhythmic rocking of the mezzaluna is a gentle mindfulness meditation, and I’m happy to take the time.
We’ll have white fish fillet for dinner tonight, which I’ll poach in a little chicken stock, and then smear with Salsa Verde before serving. Maybe I’ll toss the blanched green beans with a spoonful, and serve the fish on the top, with a few just-picked daterino tomatoes for colour. Tomorrow morning we can have boiled eggs, shelled and sliced in half, with a dollop of salsa on the top. (If you had time, you could mix the yolks with the salsa, and then refill the eggs with the lovely green mash.)
Tomorrow I’ll buy belgian endive and fill the boat shaped leaves with canned tuna and Salsa Verde for a most excellent healthy snack. It’ll be great piled on my little beef burgers. And if there’s any left, my next batch of cauliflower rice will have swirls of dark green, aromatic flecks.
10 Ways to Use Salsa Verde
Off the top of my head, as I wrote the post:
- With pinzimonio (raw sliced vegetables) – AIP
- On lightly toasted bread
- Tossed through zoodles – AIP
- Spread onto poached fish – AIP
- To coat blanched green beans
- On boiled eggs
- Mixed through the yolks of boiled eggs
- Belgian endive boats with tuna – AIP
- With beef burgers – AIP
- Swirled through cauliflower rice – AIP
On the Side
- Basil and Pinenut Pesto alla Genovese, another great Summer essential.
- Substitute the herbs with Salsa Verde when preparing Barbecued Sea Bass.
- Thin and crisp Oregano Crackers are perfect for dipping.
- Toasted slices of Paleo Bread with Cassava Flour and Flaxseeds.
Do you have a favorite version of Salsa Verde, or an equally fabulous summer condiment?
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- 3 tablespoons salted capers
- 6 anchiovies in olive oil
- 1 small bunch fresh chives
- 1 large bunch fresh flat leafed parsley
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- extra virgin olive oil
- Soak the capers in water for at least 5 minutes, then rinse them.
- Heap the capers, anchiovies, chives and parsley onto a large cutting board and, using a mezzaluna, chop until very fine.
- Transfer to a jar, stir through the lemon juice, and pour in enough extra virgin olive oil to cover.
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