Best Grill Sauce: Salsa Verde – Style

At a private birthday party in Frankfurt, there was a dish as simple as it was good that first surprised and then delighted the guests: a buttery, warm and crispy Belgian waffle with a slice of the best smoked salmon, half firm. -boiled egg and lots of Frankfurt green sauce. The combination tasted great, even if there was a debate among the guests, as many of them prefer their “Grie Soß”, which has been a specialty of Frankfurt since the 19th century and whose name is today protected by law, as an accompaniment to potatoes or, at most, to get used to white fish fillet or schnitzel.

If you look at the tradition, it is clear. As is the desire of many sausage makers to know exactly which herbs and other ingredients belong in their sauce or how to properly prepare them. And, as with any decent “original recipe,” it varies, of course, which again—that’s part of it, too—no ​​honest sausage maker would ever admit.

However, the truth is that herbal sauces, regardless of their type, cannot be changed, developed and taken out of their usual context often enough. Provided the ingredients are of the right quality, they are one of the most flexible companions. Unbridled mixing is almost always a win, and summer is the height of the season for all kinds of herb experimentation. Frankfurt green sauce, for example, would almost certainly work as a topping for a bowl, but only incidentally.

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California journalist Fanny Singer, who recently published her autobiography, swears by another herbal sauce as a constant companion, namely salsa verde, which is eaten in many parts of the world with grilled vegetables, meat, fish, potatoes, stews or salads. , burgers or zucchini in the oven. For Singer’s biography (Always Home, btb), it was only in the form of a cookbook, as she grew up as the daughter of chef and restaurateur Alice Waters at one of America’s most famous restaurants.

Despite the French references, “Chez Panisse” in Berkeley is not a temple for gourmets in the classical sense, but the cradle of the slow food movement. A local variety that not only combines pleasure with quality, but also optimism about the future and an intellectual superstructure. Even as a child in the 1980s, Singer was used to her parents driving long distances to find the best growers, categorizing farmers markets according to their favorite stalls, helping herself to gardening and trying new things. Ideal conditions for a good herbal sauce. In her life story, Singer turns to her family’s food in each chapter. And salsa verde, also known elsewhere as chimicurri, chermula or sauce verte, is a key recipe for her precisely because the sauce is so versatile and, as a popular condiment, can be used almost everywhere.

Quantities are not that important

As an indispensable basis for the sauce, only parsley leaves, garlic, salt, oil (good olive oil) and acidity (vinegar and/or lemon) are needed, Singer also uses fresh coriander (1:1 ratio to parsley), the only herb where not only chop leaves and stems (very finely) and add. The rest is freestyle. Singer himself likes to combine coriander and parsley with fresh “mild herbs” such as mint, oregano, basil, marjoram, tarragon and chives, as well as exotics such as—a tip—fresh curry leaves ( sold in well-stocked Asian stores). ). She doesn’t give exact quantities, because everyone should choose and distribute the ingredients according to their own preferences. It is important that the end result is green and “quite runny” and “more sour than buttery.”

Fanny Singer always starts with a clove or two of garlic, preferably when they’re young, and, depending on her mood, a shallot or spring onion, and one or half a seedless, deveined chili (such as jalapeño or Thai chili). Chop all of these ingredients very finely and let them steep briefly in a bowl of unwaxed lemon juice and/or white wine vinegar to reduce the spiciness. Now finely chop the herbs, put them on top and immediately soak them in a few sips of olive oil and mix everything so that the greens do not oxidize. Season with plenty of salt and add more oil or acid to taste. Chopped capers and anchovies are also great, as well as freshly grated turmeric or lemon zest. Because the oil and lemon have a preservative effect, salsa verde can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.

If you’re short on time or too few herbs, you can switch to Italian gremolata, which is actually an osso buco topping. Mix 1 teaspoon lemon zest with 1/4 teaspoon garlic and 1 tablespoon parsley (both finely chopped). Both herb blends make summer on every grill table perfect.

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