Salsa verde – the magic green oil

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Salsa verde – ever tried it? You really must. This vibrant, rustic, green herbed sauce adds a little touch of magic, with a big touch of flavour. And serving it with a simple steak is one of my favourite ways of eating it. Though don’t stop there. In Italy, where salsa verde comes from, they serve it with fish, a grilled piece of barramundi is sublime drizzled with a little of the magic green oil. You can dress a salad of mixed leaves with it, toss it through warm potatoes, or spoon it over tomatoes with mozzarella. The possibilities are endless.

 

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Lets talk anchovies. They are a key ingredient in salsa verde. Their naturally salty flesh falls apart and oozes it’s flavour into the green sauce. Anchovies have a bad reputation with many people, I used to be one of them. But I assure you, they are delicious when used to flavour sauces. So please, please don’t leave them out. I used parsley and mint in my batch of salsa verde, as that’s what I had on hand, but basil and fresh tarragon are also good additions. Back in my restaurant days, we always made salsa verde in the food processor, which is fine if you’re in a hurry, these days I pound mine in the mortar and pestle, but also suggest chopping by hand if you have the time.

 

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Salsa verde

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbsp baby capers

2 anchovies

1 cup roughly chopped parsley

1 cup roughly chopped mint

1 tbsp sherry or red wine vinegar

75ml extra virgin olive oil

Place the garlic, capers and anchovies in a mortar and pestle, pound to a paste. Alternatively, chop to a fine paste. Add parsley and mint and continue to pound or chop till herbs are well combined. Place in a small dish, add vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, a small pinch of salt and a large pinch of pepper. Stir till sauce amalgamates.

If time is of the essence, you can chuck everything in a food processor and pulse-blitz till combined.

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