My family has been craving greenery. We spent the last week in the beautiful Var valley in France and whilst we had some wonderful dishes we felt that perhaps, without sounding too rude, French food is slightly stuck in a 1970′s time warp and is due a food revival. Meticulously prepared and presented, the food still remains pretty rich and creamy with lots of unpasteurized cheese not much veg and basically not ideal if you happen to be under 10, pregnant or health conscious. Before you ask, no I am not pregnant, but one of the friends we went with is, and she found it slightly restrictive on what she could actually eat. A favourite dish that one of our party devoured was scallops in a creamy curried sauce, similar to coronation chicken in taste – the sauce that is; surprisingly delicious but a little 70′s kitsch you have to agree. If only I’d taken a photo as evidence.
So back in Blighty we gathered some fresh herbs to make an Italian Salsa Verde to detox our bodies from all the cheese and cream laced food we had eaten across the waters.
Italian Salsa Verde
Not to be mistaken with French sauce verte, German green sauce, Mexican salsa verde and Argentinian chimichurri
1 large handful of fresh mint
1 large handful of fresh basil
2 large handfuls of fresh flat leaf parsley
3 pieces of chopped garlic
6 anchovies chopped
1 large handful of chopped cornichons or gherkins
1 large handful of capers
2 tbsp of olive oil
3 tbsp of red wine vinegar
1 dsp (dessert spoon) of dijon mustard
1. Finely chop the garlic, cornichons, anchoives. If you are doing it all by hand then you will also need to finely chop the fresh flat leaf parsley, mint and basil, if however you are like me and you want to save time, use a blender. Also add the capers and olive oil at this stage.
2. After an initial quick blend – so that it is NOT smooth in consistency, add the red wine vinegar and dijon mustard. Season to taste although you will probably find that the saltiness of the anchovies suffice.
The girls loved it so much they even ended up licking out the remainder from the blender with a spoon. How sweet !
3. Salsa Verde is so versatile that it can be eaten with meat, fish, poultry or vegetables. I decided to serve mine with grilled chicken, vine tomatoes and borlotti beans on the side, and hunks of crusty bread to mop up the salsa. Delicious and not too 70′s !