Mean Green

Can you feel it?

There's a touch of fall in the air and we are rejoicing. Add that to several inches of rain that fell at our house, and the future looks bright--or at least somewhat pleasant. After living on cold melons, frozen concoctions, juices and smoothies for the longest time, we prepared a real meal  in honor of the fact that we wore jeans today and we are smiling.

The glorious rains gave the herb garden a much needed bolster, so I decided to make an herb salsa verde for our grilled swordfish skewers. We skewered (and scored) the uber-fresh fish (from Groomer's) with the last of the season's 1015 onions, juicy cherry tomatoes along with crisp, fresh bell peppers from the farmers market and served it with a side of barely sauteed broccolini.

I used Jamie Oliver's mixed herb salsa verde recipe as a basis and added a few twists of my own to come up with this fantastic herb salsa verde. Not only is this variation of salsa verde a convenient way to make good use of the end-of-the-summer herb garden, but it also adds a big punch of flavor to this meaty fish without adding a lot of calories.
Spoon this mean green salsa liberally over grilled meat, chicken, fish, veggie or even pork chops and celebrate the end of a hot summer and the beginning of a crisp, new season.

Buen provecho!
Herb Salsa Verde
The Cowgirl Gourmet

Print recipe

This isn't just any salsa verde, but one with a rich depth of flavor that grabs you and makes you think this is something you shouldn't eat much of. Loaded with fresh herbs from the garden--I used flat-leaf parsley, basil, oregano and a touch of tarragon--it's the added garlic, capers, cornichons, anchovies and mustard that give this salsa just the right punch. Spoon generously over grilled meat, fish, chicken, veggies, pork chop or use as a dip with a very mild cracker. It's that good.

Makes more than 1/2 cup, enough for 2-4 people

1 large bunch mixed fresh herbs from the garden such as flat-leaf parsley, basil, oregano, thyme and mint (the more herbs you use, the more diverse the flavor)
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons capers, drained
3 cornichons
2 anchovy filets, finely diced
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
A few shakes of red pepper flakes (plus a few more if you like a little more heat)
Pinch of Maldon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Pick the herbs from the stems and coarsely chop them with the clove of garlic on a large cutting board. Add the capers, cornichons and anchovies and continue to chop and mix it all together until finely minced.
Scrape everything into a bowl and add the mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil and red wine vinegar.  Add a light or generous shake of red pepper flakes, depending on your preference. But a minimum of a light shake is required to round out this salsa.
Stir well and taste. Season with a pinch of Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir again. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed--adding more oil. vinegar and seasoning until you get it right.

Let the salsa meld on the kitchen counter for up to an hour until ready to serve and spoon liberally over grilled fish, chicken or even pork chops.
Reserve any leftover herbed salsa verde in the fridge for up to one week. Before using, allow any leftover salsa come to room temperature before using as the oil will harden.
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