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Friday, 24 June 2011

Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde!
Continuing the thread from Tuesday’s blog I thought I’d give you a recipe for this uber versatile dressing! Have it on Steak, Fish, Salad, Antipasto, or a topping for Crostini. The provenance of Salsa Verde is to be found in the Piemonte region of North West Italy where it too takes on the form of a multi serving condiment where it may lighten the hearty meat stews of the mountainous region or just as easily play a part in pepping up a light zuppe!
Here goes, I welcome all amendments and complaints from the Italian community on the correct assemblage of this recipe. But, this is my interpretation and I think it’s fairly legit.
You will need:
            Bread crumbs, half a stale old bread roll minced up in a food processor
            White wine Vinegar, Good quality! To add flavour not pickle your dish
            Caper berries, Big’ns with the stalks still on in good white wine vinegar, 20
            1 Garlic clove
            Black Pepper,
            4 Anchovy fillets
            A bunch of Parsley, from your herb garden perhaps
            Olive oil

Soak two table spoons of bread crumbs in one table spoon of white wine vinegar and set to one side. Chop up Caper berries in to rough slices, removing their stalks. Do the same for Anchovies and Garlic.

Next, Grind up a tea spoon of Black Pepper corns in to a pestle and mortar (If you don’t have one just use a mixing bowl and pepper grinder. (do not blend or food process) Add capers, Garlic and Anchovies and mush it all up a little leaving a little texture. Then add three to four table spoons of white wine vinegar and your bread crumbs, add these in slowly, if it looks like it’s getting a bit busy and dry in there you’ve over done it! The crumbs are merely to thicken a little. Give it a little mix and then you can add a bunch of finely chopped Parsley. Finally add three to four table spoons of olive oil and stir in well, the mixture should emulsify.

Your final Salsa should be a loose, glossy consistency (a bit like our mint sauce) ready to brighten up many a dish.

And now for the liquid element.

Being true to Piemonte you might try a Gavi, a fruity and aromatic white wine from the region, the best displaying mineral notes and tangy citrus finish. Or, Roero Arneis, again a scented dry white wine justly matched to such a style of cuisine.
Alternatively, let’s go for something else with the word Verde in it. Yes that’s right Vhino Verde! A classic, especially if you’re planning on sea food with your Salsa. Portuguese and found south of the Minho river which forms the frontier to neighbouring Spain. This wine is light with bright acidity to dual it out with your Salsa, the best are made from Alvarinho (Albarino) and if we were to skip across this Minho river border we would find our self in Galicia Spain. More precisely the wine producing region of Rias Baixas. And what do they do best in this neck of the woods? Albarino, more weighty and fleshy then your Vhino Verde and with riper fruit but just as good a match as any of the above.

If you’re off on a shopping spree this weekend, pop in to Waitrose and pick up these little beauties. There is a 25% off 6 deal at the moment so all you need to do is choose yourself two more on top of my four hot recommendations.

Malvira- Roero Arneis                                £10.99           
Arelia Prima-Provence Rose                    £7.99             
Quinta de Azevedo-Vhino Verde              £7.29             
Gavi Araldica                                               £5.99             
A well as these, look out for Mont Tauch Fitou. (More on this next time!)
For the Northern Contingency, your local Waitrose is at Eldon Square, below the entrance to John Lewis from the Northumberland Street entrance.

Happy wining and dining


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