Easy Being Green: Salsa verde

This is our interpretation of a vibrant condiment that’s fantastic with chicken, seafood and white-fleshed fish. And boiled potatoes, for that matter.

Googling its name – salsa verde – is likely to lead you to one of two countries: Mexico, or Italy (although many, many places have similar salsas). Here, we’re dealing with the Italian version, with a little nod in the general direction of Mexico.

Despite the bright, strong ingredients that are common to all recipes for salsa verde, we’ve found many versions lack complexity and roundness. We think we’ve come up with one that beats any that we’ve tasted.

Here’s the mise en place:

1 supermarket-size bunch of parsley, leaves and tops of the stems

A bunch of chives – refer to the picture for the amount… sort of hard to quantify!

A bunch (5 or 6) scallions, white and green parts, chopped in thirds

6 or 8 oil-cured olives (we found some astoundingly good low-salt ones)

1 clove garlic

2 or 3 tbsp capers, brined or – if they’re salted – rinsed and soaked for a few minutes

Here’s the twist: one jalapeño pepper, seeded and white veins removed

A few tbsp red wine vinegar

Good-quality, robust extra-virgin olive oil. How much? Enough to make things move smoothly in your blender and to produce a stiff but smooth consistency. Half a cup or more.

So… whizz it up in your blender, then taste for salt and vinegar and add more to correct any huge imbalances in flavour. Let it mellow for half an hour or so, then fine-tune the flavour.

A couple of tablespoons of this stuff next to a poached or grilled chicken breast, or broiled cod… mmm. And: you can freeze the leftovers in an ice cube tray and have some on hand whenever it’s needed.