The amazingly versatile green sauce
Salsa Verde, Sauce Vert, Chimichurri, Chermoula…Every cuisine seems to have a green sauce, made with fresh and/or dried herbs, some sort of acid, an allium, a salty element, and oil to emulsify. I personally probably rely on this sauce a little too much, because it’s easy, impresses (some) people, can often be made with items on hand (including herbs from your crisper that are past their best age), and is also eternally flexible.
Some uses for green sauce: topping roasted/grilled/poached seafood or meats, adding to grilled or roasted veggies to brighten the flavors, mixing into homemade mayonnaise for a fancier tartar sauce, folding into pasta with some peas and prosciutto for something your guests will want to know more about…I tend to make more than I need for one time and then use it up flavoring other dishes, including crab cakes, fritters, all manner of slaws and potato salads…You get the drift: easy, useful, and delicious.
If I am feeling virtuous, I make this entirely by hand. If I’m in a rush, I make it in the Cuisinart or even Vitamix which gives a more polished, smooth consistency. Again, I can’t stress enough the flexibility of a recipe like this. If you don’t have shallots, use any other kind of onion (vidalia, shallot, red onion?). If you don’t have parsley, use cilantro. No olive oil? Canola oil will do. Free yourself from the constraints of uptight recipes! Break the chains and see what happens!
Green Sauce #143
1/2 cup finely minced parsley
1/2 cup finely minced basil
2 tablespoons of minced capers (I used smaller ones in brine)
1 small shallot, finely minced (about 1 tablespoon)
The zest and juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon of good Dijon mustard
a few good pinches of sugar
1/2 cup or so of good EVOO
a pinch of salt and good grinding of pepper
Whisk everything together in a bowl and chill. You can also forgo the mincing and dicing and throw everything in a machine and pulse till the sauce is a consistency that you like. Use in new and exciting ways and then let me know all about it.