Salsa Verde

Going green...everyone seems to be heading in that direction. And a good thing too. Our little planet is straining a little more everyday under the pressure of the zillions of children (that would be us) she holds to her bosom. We use her gifts with no regard to what’s left in the larder. We clutter our playrooms with our toys and forget to pick up. We play mad scientist while the fumes from our experiments burn holes in the umbrella she holds up to protect us. Naughty, naughty children.

Slowly but ever so surely though, we are wizening up. All heads are unquestionably turning towards the one common goal of helping Mother Earth. Awareness, resources, and necessity are at different levels in different places -- so the pace of change is sometimes slow, sometimes fast -- but change is undeniably in the air. We are picking up after ourselves. We recycle. We lug our own bags to the grocery. We compost. We try to educate ourselves. We try to consume less and waste less.

We dream of a sustainable pig farm...ok, that’s just me. Anyways.

I am not a green goddess by any stretch of the imagination...the Earth has her own bone (or two) to pick with me. I use more than my fair share of paper (I love stationary and notepads...and paper towels). Ziplock and I are inseparable. I use too much dishwashing liquid and love to keep a plate under a stream of running water until I am 500% sure that there isn’t a trace of soap left. I smoke (oh wow. True confessions!).

On the upside, I do lug my own bags to market (I even have one for wine bottles!). I recycle as much paper as I can (not the paper towels). I try to support enterprises that are working towards this same goal (looking for locally-made Earth-friendly cleaning products? See here! They smell fabulous too!). So I hope I am not that errant of a child.

But just in’s a small, green bit of deliciousness in her honor...

Salsa Verde
(adapted from Donna Hay Magazine issue 23, page 70)

  • 1/2 cup dill leaves
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon capers in brine, drained (original recipe had 2 tablespoons salted capers, rinsed, but I can’t find any here)
  • 1-2 anchovy fillets (original recipe had 4 fillets, optional, but the anchovies I had were salty enough)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

- Place the dill, parsley, mint, capers, anchovies, garlic, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and process in short bursts until roughly chopped.
- Add lemon juice and olive oil and pulse a few times until just combined.

There are many versions of this herb sauce out there – Mexican (which would have things like tomatillos and jalapenos in it and is usually thinner/smoother in texture), French (sauce verte), Italian (gremolata is just one famous example), and German (Grüne Soße). This roughly chopped version I’ve made seems closest to Italian in origin.

I loved the chunkiness of this version along with its incredibly crisp and leafy flavour -- robust and clean at the same time. It goes amazingly well with fish...especially fish that is both fatty and flavourful like salmon. I also added it to some deviled eggs – yum! I imagine there must be heaps of other ways to use this as it is delicious!

I realize that that (up top) was quite a long-winded and perhaps a bit way-off introduction to a salsa verde recipe, but both in appearance and in taste, this was so brilliantly green and fresh and bright that it did turn my daydreams towards a world that could be the same way. Plus, everything in this gorgeous sauce is really a gift from a planet filled with life. And besides, anytime is the right time to talk about going green and saving the Earth :)