Green Sauce for Spring, Harissa in hope of heat.

It’s raining so I am making some springy sauces. Salsa Verde is very versatile and is a traditional Italian accompaniment to fish or lamb. The anchovies meld into the sauce to give it that savoury umami depth of flavour we all love. The sauce can also be diluted with a little more oil and/or vinegar to make a wonderful potato salad or a drizzle it over steamed broccoli. You can use it as a base on garlicky toast before adding chopped tomato or roasted peppers or just add a spoon to various vinaigrettes. I make a jar at a time and keep it in the fridge.

DSC_0016_2Green Sauce)

1 bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 bunch of basil

a handful of mint leaves

3 garlic cloves

100g Capers drained and rinsed

50g Anchovy fillets (in oil)

2 tblsp red wine vinegar

5 tblsp Extra-virgin olive oil

1 tblsp Dijon mustard

Maldon salt and ground black pepper to taste

Chop the parsley and mint, peel the garlic, and chop with the capers and anchovies. Place together in a bowl and cover with olive oil. Stir in the mustard and vinegar, season and add more olive oil for a looser sauce (or put everything in the magimix and whiz). Jar it.

Tunisian Harissa paste

DSC_0024_4This is very, very hot. There are many variations of this sauce but I prefer the smoky version we ate in Tunisia which included smoked sweet paprika. This can be a dip, part of a marinade recipe (excellent with chicken), added to tomato sauces and stews to give them some zing, or just something to dab on the edge of you plate for added spice.

To make a jar

I cup small dried chillies softened in boiling water for 15 minutes.

5 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander powder
1tsp sweet smoked paprika1tsp caraway seeds

1 tsp. salt

juice half a lemon

a glug Olive oil then more to jar.

DSC_0020_5Place the chillies in a bowl, bring some water to the boil and pour over the chillies. Leave them to soak for 15 minutes then drain.

Place all the ingredients if a food processor until you have a smooth paste or grind them together in a mortar and pestle. Add more olive oil if you want looser or keep it as a stiff paste.

Store in a well sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 months, once upon use it in a couple of weeks.

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