Salsa Verde : A Green Recipe

Salsa Verde Recipe

Making Chips Healthy: An attempt

Please, don’t come any nearer.  I am breathing strong fumes of garlic. I mean strong fumes of garlic.

Friday nights for me are a time of joyous relaxation. I work hard during the week, often long hours. Friday afternoons and evenings are very special to me.  I do a yoga class, I visit my friends in the coffee shop and chat, I feel my body unwinding, I might have a long long bath, and I don’t cook.

Usually, I eat something wonderfully delicious but not necessarily incredibly healthy.  Like the wonderful wedges that The Store serves in a huge bowl with Goddess Mayonnaise or Sweet Chilli Sauce. The best chips in town. Perfect on Fridays, with a glass of cold cold dry white wine from the Barossa Valley, I am ready for the weekend. Ready for thinking about what I am going to cook, read, do, visit. Who needs what. How I am going to fit it all in.

There is always so very much to cram into a weekend. If I have time I try to do my shopping on the Friday too, so that it eases the pressure. It is a pity to do this – Saturdays at the Central Market and Sundays at the Farmers Market are particular pleasures, but, well, sometimes duty prevails, sometimes there is still some work that needs to be done on the weekend, sometimes other attractions get the better of me.

I do try to eat healthy on all but Friday nights. It doesn’t always work, and despite the wonderful Kathryn Elliott constantly inspiring me to think differently, be more diligent, put some prep work in to make the week easier, it is not always possible to do every thing. (I need a maid, housekeeper and erstwhile cook. Any offers?)

Last Friday, it was late, I had had a long day, my yoga teacher (bless her) was on holidays and I wanted just to curl up at home with The Collectors and a book. I did manage to get my shopping done, and grabbed a pack of oven bake chips for dinner.

Salsa Verde Recipe

I could really have just thrown them in the oven and eaten them as is, I was so end-of-the-week tired, but Kathryn’s voice – I kept hearing her entreating me to at least try and add another vegetable, think about the flavour, add something healthy. I counted and had not eaten my 3 pieces of fruit and five pieces of veggies yet. So after an orange (as an appetiser, ok?), I grabbed my trusty Chinese cleaver and a handful of parsley. Not wanting to break my Friday tradition of not cooking, I thought as long as a pan was not involved, it was not really cooking, right? As long as I just chopped and stirred, I was Ok. And throwing some chips into the oven – no cooking creativity there.

I chopped and chopped that parsley. I threw in a (very large) garlic clove. Some capers, lemon rind, some chives. I drizzled oil, I squeezed lemon, I stirred gently. I poured on and over and around hot hot chips.

I figured there was enough parsley in there to count as a vegetable, and the garlic, well it would ward off future colds, maybe some vampires too. It was so strong even the neighbour might go out for a while. The lemon would help. The oil was olive, virgin, cold pressed, and even my doctor tells me how good that is.

I was smiling. All of a sudden my chips were sounded healthy. Kathryn, it may not be quite what you had in mind, but it was one step closer.

And Oh Oh Oh, it was tasty.

Sometimes the old, the traditional, the simple, the uncomplex is truly wonderful.

Salsa Verde Recipe Notes

Salsa Verde is a classic Italian sauce of parsley and olive oil, with some flavourings. The key to success is the freshest parsley you can find. It has an amazingly fresh taste, almost grassy (in the nicest possible way) and the lemon and salt add such a zing to it, that it is quite more-ish.

It is best to use flat leaved Italian parsley, but the curly variety will work too. Success depends on a sharp knife. Dull knives will bruise the parsley, a sharp one will slice right through. The colour is better when you slice and dice, rather than mash and bruise.

I like rustic, so my salsa verde retains some texture, however you can choose to make it finer if you desire. It is great on bread or crackers, thin it out a little with oil and a teaspoon of warm water as a pasta sauce, serve with haloumi or pan fried tofu. Pour over oven roasted or char grilled vegetables. Or eat with chips.

Experiment with adding other green herbs too. Chives are good. Some spring onion (shallot in the US?). Even, if you are chopping really fine, a kaffir lime leaf and some lemongrass. A tiny piece of preserved lemon. Thyme, mint, rosemary. What about basil, coriander (cilantro)? Even sorrel. Go wild!

Eat, enjoy, then make some more. You will, it is So Very Good. Certainly, the old, the traditional, the simple, the uncomplex is truly wonderful. This salsa will remind you of that.

Oh, and follow it with another piece of fruit.

Salsa Verde Recipe

Salsa Verde

Source : inspired by The Art of Simple Food
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 0 mins
Serves: 1 – 6 people, depending how you use it

0.25 chop chopped parsley – use only the leaves and thin stems
grated zest of lime or lemon
1 garlic clove, chopped finely or mashed into a puree
1 Tblspn capers, rinsed, drained and chopped finely
0.5 tspn salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
olive oil (enough to thin the sauce to the desired consistency. Up to 0.5 cup, although I use much less)
large squeeze of lime or lemon juice

You can chop the parsley, garlic and capers together. Stir in the lime or lemon zest, salt and pepper. Thin to the desired consistency with the olive oil. Allow the sauce to sit for half an hour to allow the flavours to develop.

Just before serving stir in the lime or lemon juice. Don’t add earlier or it will discolour the herbs.

The Salsas, Purees, Pates, Dressings, Dips Series

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About Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.
This entry was posted in 06 Early Winter, Fast Food, Italian, Middle Eastern, Salsas - Purees - Pates - Dips, Spices and Herbs, Vegan, VEGETARIAN and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Salsa Verde : A Green Recipe

  1. bee says:

    parsley and potatoes love each other, so this must have been a memorable meal.

    They do, and because I don’t cook potatoes very much, I had forgotten how much they love each other.

  2. Hima says:

    I thought salsa verde belongs to mexican cuisine… this sounds interesting recipe!!

    Hi Hima, well it does, but it is very different. Have a look at wikipedia for more information. Apparently it originated in the Middle East, moving through Europe.

    Green sauce is the name of several different sauces containing mainly herbs, namely the Italian salsa verde, the French sauce verte, and the German Grüne Soße or Frankfurter Grie Soß (Frankfurt dialect).

    It explains the differences of the various types and on the American-Mexican one it says:

    Green sauces are common in Mexican and Mexican-American cuisines. The basis of the Mexican green sauce (known as salsa verde) is either tomatillos, serrano chiles, coriander leaves (also known as cilantro), or some combination of these. Salsa verde can range in spiciness from mild to mouth-searing. It may be warm, as in a chile verde, or cold, as a condiment. In Mexican-American cuisine, a green sauce is frequently used as a dip for tortilla chips and served with tacos

    How extraordinarily interesting! I wonder how the Mexicans came to give it their sauce an Italian name.

  3. notyet100 says:

    salsa verde looks yummy…

    Thanks, notyet100. I have to say it was very surprisingly nice.

  4. That looks oh so delicious, and I love the addition of capers for even more zing. I’m going to try your dukkah recipe next

    The capers and the lemon are really good additions. Enjoy the dukkah!

  5. Aparna says:

    Those potatoes look absolutely yummy. I might not like garlic too much but you’re not driving me away from here with those fumes!:)

    Phew! They were so yummy, but i dared not breath in the direction of anyone for an hour or two after….. :-)

  6. Kalva says:

    Wow love your heal;thy version

    Yay, thank you Kalva.

  7. victoria says:

    I’ve a pretty high tolerance for garlic so I use alot of it. I love salsa verde and this looks delicious!

    Thank you, victoria. Yesterday I was eying a large bunch of parsley in the grocers, it seemed to be calling me for some more salsa verde. But it was at a corner store and so ridiculously expensive that it will have to wait.

  8. arundathi says:

    *sigh* salsa verde and chips… sounds divine. those chips look perfect! And yes, parsley does count as a green!

    Oh, good. I am so glad! I can make this 6 times a week now….. just kidding.

  9. Stephanie says:

    Sounds a brilliant idea…gorgeous colours in that salsa…and just tell me about the need for a maid, housekeeper and cook! There are never enough hours, are there?

    Hi Stephanie, never ever enough hours to do what you need to do, have to do and want to do. Such a tight squeeze at all times.

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  11. Anita says:

    I would love a plate of those healthy chips!
    I also love the idea of no-cooking Fridays – why didn’t I think of that!

    Yay! As I write this, it is Friday again! YAY!

  12. fornetti says:

    I do not believe this

    Oh ye of little faith….

  13. kathryn says:

    Oh Ganga, I hope my voice is not too bossy! But I love this solution. You had the food you wanted, and then, through trying to get some more vegetable you made it even more delicious. If I’m having a baked potato, this is the kind of topping I often try, to soup it up and just make it that little bit better. Good work.

  14. I may not make those colorful items, but enjoyed looking at them. yummy!

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