Many of my herbs are starting their Spring growth. The dill & basil have both recently germinated, the tarragon has reappeared and my mint is looking much happier. Even the coriander is growing well. Of course all this comes at the price of some bolting parsley and chervil but frankly you can’t have everything. To celebrate all herby enthusiasm I thought I dedicate this weeks posts to the best sauces you can make with them.
Salsa Verde – I thought the first sauce I mentioned should be a sauce that uses a combination of herbs. Salsa Verde combines a mixture of soft herbs (tarragon, dill, parsley, mint, chervil, coriander, basil, oregano – whatever you enjoy basically) with olives, capers and anchovies to produce a simply delicious sauce. I love salsa verde, especially with fish but also goes well with potatoes. Alternatively you can have it with both fish and potatoes in a salad like the one pictured.
Pesto – Although you can make pesto out of loads of different herbs it is basil pesto that I look forward to the most. The combination of basil, pine nuts, garlic and Parmesan makes for one classic sauce.
Mint Sauce – Now I don’t eat a lot of lamb so I’m not talking about your classic mint sauce here, although I’m sure that does have its devotees. Instead I am talking about a sweetened mint syrup used to pour over fruit salad or add to cocktails – sugary and refreshing – a lovely summery combination.
Parsley Sauce – When I was little, very little, about 18 months old I think, I had some digestive problems and the doctor recommended putting me on a diet of tripe. For I don’t know how long my main meal of the day was tripe with parsley sauce. The parsley sauce habit has stuck – I use parsley sauce as a base for things like pie fillings – the tripe habit less so. In fact I can’t remember the last time I ate tripe and frankly I have little desire to renew my acquaintance with it.
Coriander Chutney – I am a huge fan of the fresh chutney’s of India. My two favourites being quite similar: mint chutney and coriander chutney. Both are made by mincing mint or coriander leaves with a combination of spring onions, lemon or lime juice, salt, chilli, a touch of sugar and garlic. Lovely to dip samosas, poppadoms or pakoras in.
For more Top 5 fun head over to The New Goodlife for this weeks installment.