SALSA VERDE – ITALIAN GREEN SAUCE

To Good Friends!

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Just recently one of my Adelaide friends made a salsa verde to accompany some lightly roasted sirloin and roasted vegetables. Most enjoyable.

Making salsa verde was one of my tasks as a teenager in the family kitchen.

There always seemed to be some salsa verde in our fridge; it was used specifically as a condiment for our frequent serves of pesce lesso, (poached or steamed fish) and bollito (boiled meat). Broth (and hence boiled meat) was a weekly affair. Traditionally it was intended to accompany plain tasting, boiled food.

I was very surprised that I have not included a recipe for salsa verde on my blog as I make it often.

I have never measured or weighed ingredients when making sauces, but these estimations seem to produce what I am after. Allow this salsa to rest for at least an hour so that the flavours become better balanced.

Traditionally the consistency of the sauce is semi liquid, especially if you wish to pour it  over fish or meat. However, by adding larger amounts of solid ingredients, this sauce can be presented as a large blob on the side of the meat or fish.

To serve the salsa verde with fish, I sometimes use lemon juice instead of vinegar. In latter years I also started to add grated lemon peel.

Recipes evolve and over time, especially in other parts of the world where salsa verde has been become popular and different herbs have been added. For example I have noticed that mint or tarragon or oregano or rocket have snuck in. These herbs are not common in the traditional Italian recipe that originated in the north of Italy but has spread all over Italy. In Sicilian it is called sarsa virdi .

Salsa verde can be used to jazz anything up – vegetables, roasts, cold meats, smoked fish, crayfish etc. I sometimes use it to stuff hard boiled eggs (remove the yolk, mix with salsa verde and return it to the egg).

I had someone ask me recently about using it with left over Christmas turkey. Why not?

 

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INGREDIENTS

  • parsley, 1 cup cut finely,
  • wine vinegar, 1 ½ tablespoonful
  • anchovies, 3-4 cut finely
  • capers, ½ cup, if the salted variety, rinse, soak to remove salt
  • extra virgin olive oil, ¾ cup
  • fresh bread, the white part of 1 slice
  • egg, 1, hard boiled, chopped finely
  • garlic, 2 cloves chopped
  • green olives, chopped, ½ cup

 

  • Soak the bread briefly in 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and squeeze dry.
  • Combine all of the ingredients and stir them gently together in a wide mouthed jar or jug.
  • The anchovies generally provide sufficient salt, but taste the sauce and season to taste.

Variations

When I lived in my parent’s house a little of the mixed garden pickles (called sotto aceti or giardiniera) was a must. Select a couple of small pieces of the white root (turnip) or green (small gherkins). Omit the ½ tablespoon of vinegar.

This is the type of sauce where you can vary the ingredients. Add different amounts of ingredients – more or less anchovies or capers.

 

 

3 thoughts on “SALSA VERDE – ITALIAN GREEN SAUCE”

  1. I remembered boiled meat!! Mamma would sometimes use the meat to flavor the broth along with the poultry and then we’d eat the meat and sometimes mamma would make polpette. Those we’d eat with salsa de pomodoro. I am looking forward to making your salsa verde.

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