Salsa verde, or as the French call it sauce verte, sounds very fancy. It is. But in a good way – fancy on the tongue, easy on the prep. Because salsa verde or sauce vert simply means a green sauce. Recipes differ wildly, but they all have one thing in common – loads of fresh herbs. To give backbone to the herby freshness you’ll find the likes of garlic, capers, anchovy and chilli in salsa verde.
I add salty green olives to this salsa verde, and spoon generous dollops of it on braaied rosemary-marinated Karoo lamb chops. It’s a Mediterranean inspired dish with its feet firmly in Africa.
All you need is…
FOR THE LAMB
8 Karoo lamb chops
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
extra virgin olive oil
FOR THE SALSA VERDE
¾ cup flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
12 pitted green olives
6 tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 tbs small non pareils capers (Woolworths stocks it)
large pinch of freshly ground black pepper
large pinch of sea salt flakes (I adore Maldon)
1 clove garlic, unpeeled but crushed open
Place the chops in a flat dish, scatter over the rosemary leaves and garlic. Drizzle generously with olive oil, cover and place in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour.
To make the salsa verde, finely chop the parsley and the green olives. Mix with the rest of the ingredients, cover and allow it to infuse for at least an hour, preferably two. Remove the garlic clove just before you use the salsa verde.
Braai the lamb chops over hot coals until done to your liking or fry them in a hot griddle pan. Serve the chops warm, drizzled with loads of the salsa verde. As the salsa hits the cooked meat it releases lipsmacking aromas! I love baby potatoes simply boiled in their skins with this. That and a glass of good red of course.