Salsa verde

Photo by Gary Corbett

“Like most cooks, I use heaps of herbs in my dishes. It’s a great way to add freshness and a burst of flavour to your cooking. That’s why I love salsa verde. Not only is it delicious, it’s extremely versatile and can be used to jazz up salads, canapés and main courses. You can also use whatever herbs you have to hand, or put more of a herb you like in. Enjoy”

 Ingredients for salsa verde

  • Bunch of basil
  • Bunch of parsley
  • Bunch of mint
  • Bunch of coriander
  • Bunch of chives
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice and rind of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/4 cup green olives
  • 1 green chilli
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
Method
  1. Pick the leaves off your herbs and put into a food processor. Blitz for a few seconds to break them down.
  2. Add the other ingredients except the olive oil. Blitz until you get the consistency you want. It works as a chunky sauce or a smooth one.
  3. Add olive oil until you achieve the consistency you want.
  4. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Caprese salad
Layer tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil leaves and pickled onions on a plate.
To pickle the onions I use equal parts red wine vinegar and white sugar. Stir the vinegar until sugar is dissolved and put in finely chopped white onions. It’s best to leave the for a day to soften.
Dollop spoonfuls of greek yoghurt and salsa verde over the top. You can also put layers on some sourdough bread for a healthy lunch.
Fresh and delicious.
Baked potatoes
To bake the potato, drizzle with olive oil and salt and wrap in aluminium foil. Bake in a 180c oven for 45 minutes or until the potato is cooked all the way through. Cut the potato open and dollop some sour cream inside, Add the salsa verde and grate some parmesan cheese over the top.
Makes a great midweek dinner if you’re super busy.
Cucumber sandwiches
To be a little bit classy you can jazz up your cucumber sandwiches with salsa verde.
(I actually don’t like cucumber but with the salsa verde they’re delicious).
Butter some white bread and spread on a thin layer of salsa verde on both sides.
Peel your cucumber and add thin slices to one slice. Put the top on, cut off the crusts and slice in half.
Now you’re classy as hell!

Mushroom Pate

“This is such a useful recipe to have in your repertoire.  I use it when catering either on olive bread (as shown) or in pastry cups served with port caramelised onions.  You can also use it to stuff inside chicken breasts or in a beef Wellington.  Or just eat it by the spoonful!  The earthy flavour of the mushrooms complement the sweetness of the onions perfectly and is a great addition to any cheese platter.  Enjoy!”

Ingredients

  • 100g eschalots (or red onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 30g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 700g Swiss brown mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup port
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Salt
  • 150g butter
  1. Pour hot water over the porcini mushrooms to rehydrate them.
  2. Finely dice the eschalots and cook until translucent in a small amount of butter.
  3. Add the finely chopped garlic and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Chop the porcini and Swiss brown mushrooms into small pieces and add to the pan.  Once they have softened add the thyme, port and lemon juice and simmer until most of the liquid have evaporated.
  5. Transfer mixture to a food processor and blitz until smooth.  Chop the butter into small chunks and add to the pate until incorporated.
  6. Transfer to 2 ramekins and cover with clarified butter.

Port Caramelised Onions

  • 4 red onions
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Port
  1. Dice onions and cook in a pan with a small amount of olive oil.
  2. Stir in sugar and cook on medium heat until onions have softened and taken on some colour.
  3. Add half the Port and stir occasionally until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  4. Repeat with the remaining Port and cook until the onions are dark shiny, adding more Port if necessary.
  5. Transfer to a bowl and serve with mushroom pate and Olive bread