Salsa Verde, or herb-y green-y sauce-y, as our girls call it, is a wonderfully herbaceous gooey sauce that has the most verdant green colour imaginable. When you blitz it in the blender, you turn a whole massive pile of ingredients into a few tablespoons of sauce, which you instinctively feel a little disappointed with, in terms of volume. But then you taste it… and you realise that a little goes a long way. We have used this sauce with most meats and poultry. We love to use it with lamb and one of our favourite recipes is Rosemary and Garlic Griddle Lamb, but we also use it often as a topping on grilled chicken fillets. The following recipe is the initial guideline you need to make your own original version of Salsa Verde.
Garlic: 1 small clove
Flat-leaf parsley: A good big handful with the coarse stalks removed
Basil: 15 to 20 leaves
Tarragon: Leaves from 3 to 4 sprigs
Anchovy fillets: 4 to 5 fillets
Capers: About 1 teaspoon
Mustard (Dijon or English): About 1 teaspoon
Sugar: A pinch
Lemon juice or vinegar: A few drops
Extra virgin olive oil: 2 to 3 tablespoons
Freshly ground black pepper
Add all these ingredients to a food processor, and pulse to a saucy consistency.
Alternatively, if you don’t have the use of a food processor, finely chop the garlic on a large chopping board. Then add the herbs, anchovies, and capers and chop all together until fine in texture. Add to a mixing bowl, and mix in the mustard, sugar, lemon juice or vinegar, and freshly ground black pepper, and when initially mixed, add enough olive oil to give a glossy saucy consistency. As soon as the sauce is complete, taste and tweak to your own liking.
This sauce is best made just before serving, but what’s leftover, if any, will keep for a few days in the fridge, covered or in a jar.
Salsa Verde on Rosemary and Garlic Griddle Lamb Bap
Photographs courtesy of Sarah Ní Shúilleabhain 2012.