salsa verde

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So I used to not be a big parsley fan just like I wasn’t a big ginger fan but I learned to use it in the right application.  In this case, it’s salsa verde.  This stuff is amazing.  I’ve used it on top of chicken, as a sandwich spread and in soup.

I’ve also seen other chefs like Michael Symon use other herbs like tarragon and mint in addition to the parsley.  The idea is to use any fresh green leafy herb, hence, the ‘verde’ which means green in Spanish if you didn’t know.

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Take care in crafting this sauce.  I’ve made it in haste by trying to blend all the ingredients in my magic bullet and it never comes out right.  The flavors aren’t balanced the way it would be when you actually crush the garlic and marinate the onion.  With all the photo snapping, hand washing and chopping it took me 45min.  (it shouldn’t have taken that long I was just taking my time so don’t think is a complicated recipe) After I took care in making this special sauce, I bottled it up in one of my favorite used bottles (I like to save mustard jars) to keep in the refrigerator until dinner. As I was placing the salsa verde in the fridge, I lose my grip and…crack!… splat!  The jar shatters, painting my kitchen floor with parsley green oil…tragic, huh?  I was mad but it wasn’t worth ruining my night.   Luckily I saved the parsley stems and discovered that there were enough parsley leaves left over to make another jar. I was so thankful because that never happens.

This reminds me of a time that I was making pecan pie as a teenager and as I was taking it out of the oven and dropped it face down.  It splattered all over the floor and I was like…are you kidding me!?  It’s funny now but at the time hot gooey sugar everywhere isn’t pleasant.  I can keep going with memories of people dropping stuff.  I remember one of my sisters’ dropped a ketchup bottle and it exploded, ha!  Or the time I dropped a full gallon of milk and I was in so much shock as a kid I just watched the milk flood the kitchen until my Dad realized what was going on and  picked it up, ha!

Anyways, it happens and you get over it so you can laugh about it later.

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Pound everything in the mortar.  Really, you just need to pound the garlic and chop everything else but I like doing everything together.  I think it’s blends the flavors together better. Also, DO NOT use curly parsley.  It creates a crunchy consistency which I found unpleasant.

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So there is an ingredient that I forgot to take a photo of. It’s anchovies.  Please do not run away.  Please? I personally like anchovies and any canned fish including sardines.  I understand that people are funny about ‘fishy’ things but anchovies add a depth that you won’t be able to get with just salt.  Also, you only need one small little anchovy  to make this jar of sauce.  For me, I actually use three because I like them so much. Sometimes I eat them on top of a mixed green salad with a squeeze of lemon juice.

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Above is my favorite mini jar to keep sauces.  They are especially good to store left over ingredients from a can like tomato paste, artichoke hearts, beans, green chilis, etc.

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Chicken soup over rice with salsa verde.  Friends, this is homey goodness.

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Salsa Verde

adapted recipe from Tamar Adler in her book An Everlasting Meal

Ingredients

1/4 cup onion, finely chopped (you may also use a shallot)

1/2 teaspoon of salt

red or white wine vinegar

1 bunch of parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 anchovy fillet, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of capers, finely chopped

1/2 cup olive oil

Directions

Put the onion in small bowl and add enough vinegar to cover.  Let it marinate for 10 min. Pound the the garlic with the salt in a mortar and pestle until it becomes a paste.  If you don’t have a mortar and pestle you can use your cutting board and a knife. Add onions, anchovies, capers  and parsley to the mortar and continue to pound until incorporated. Or skip the extra pounding and add all remaining ingredients and combine together. Add olive oil and salt to taste.  Transfer to a small jar to keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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