Fennel Frond Salsa Verde
Source: Michelle McKenzie, 18 Reasons
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on May 11, 2013.
This salsa verde recipe is not precise and is all the better for it. It is a sauce that knows no bounds. Once you make a batch of salsa verde, you will surely dream of all the things you can spoon it under, over, and beside. Lately, I’ve enjoyed this particular version on boiled potatoes, under fried quail eggs, beside grilled beef tenderloin, stirred into a vinaigrette for wild spring greens, and slathered on the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever eaten.
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, peeled (number depends on your preference and the size of your cloves)
1 handful of capers, rinsed
2 whole anchovies (I prefer large salt-packed anchovies), rinsed
3 handfuls of fennel fronds, washed and dried
1 large bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
2 tablespoons rosemary leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
8 tablespoons really good extra-virgin olive oil (approximately)
Juice of half a lemon
1. Finely chop the garlic, capers, and anchovies; place them in a mortar (or bowl) and pound them with the pestle until a rough paste forms (or pulse in a food processor). Finely chop the fennel fronds and herbs and add them to the mortar; pound and grind a bit more.
2. Add a good pinch of salt, a few grinds (four or so) of black pepper, and lemon zest; pound until combined. Slowly stir in the olive oil until you achieve the right consistency. Stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary (I often have to balance the flavors with freshly ground black pepper, a bit more salt and a bit more lemon).