Salsa verde is a green herb sauce with an olive oil base. It is amazingly adaptable to what you have on hand and at its simplest consists of only parsley, garlic, olive oil and salt. In the book “Twelve Recipes” by Cal Peternell, he lists an amazing number of variations. Replace the parsley with basil (a simple version of pesto), cilantro, or chervil; or add a bit of rosemary, sage, and savory (finely chopped) along with the parsley; or add a chopped hard-boiled egg; anchovies are good; capers, chopped pickles…I think you get the picture.
This is a basic sauce that will last a week in the fridge. It has endless uses and will dress up everything from scrambled eggs to roast cauliflower. I used the last drops in a pasta dish (look for a future post) and it was delicious.
This is simple to make, you could hand chop everything but I simply put everything in my food processor and chopped them until it was a lovely green mess. The chili adds a punch; add a whole one if you like more spice. I wanted the lemon to shine through and kept the heat in control. A pinch of red pepper flakes would work if you don’t have a chili handy.
The sauce is a spring day in the middle of winter.
Spicy Lemon Salsa Verde
- 1 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 lemons – zest and juice
- 1 large shallot, skinned and roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, skinned and roughly chopped
- ½ Serrano chili, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Dump all the ingredients except the olive oil into the bowl of your food processor and process until finely chopped.
- Add the olive oil and continue to process until it becomes a smooth sauce.
- Taste for salt, mine needed the entire teaspoon.
It was wonderful on a simple vegetable side dish of roast cauliflower steaks and elevated a somewhat bland (but amazingly adaptable) vegetable to new heights.