GARY'S NERDY SALSA VERDI - Gary Clark, music (Sing Street)
"Back when my wife Alison and I lived in London, we were regulars at the now-famous River Cafe. (Alison even appears in the original Blue River Cafe Cookbook, sitting at a table behind the two chef-owners under the headline "Vegetables". True!) The River Cafe was famed for its elevated take on rustic Italian cooking and the handwritten menu would change twice daily. Their Salsa Verdi, which would appear on a number of dishes from steaks to fish, seafood and veg was a thing of tangy, herbaceous wonder and it sent me on a nerdy quest spanning decades to figure out how to make the perfect version at home. There are many recipes out there; many use mustard for kick - I prefer to get my heat from red chili. Some use rosemary - too soapy, man! Some are whizzed in the food processor - I can promise you it tastes much fresher and nicer with better texture if you take the time to chop it on a board by hand. So, here it is, after much delicious research."
Sprinkle a little of the salt and pepper on the board and crush with knife.
Chop garlic into the salt & pepper. Add capers and anchovy to chop down into a coarse paste.
Finely chop chili and scallion next and add to mixture.
Mint and flat parsley should be next for a rough chop. It should NOT feel like it's been blended in a food processor.
Squeeze juice of 1/2 a lemon over mixture and add a good 2-3 glugs of olive oil.
Add the arugula and go in for a final chop.
Transfer everything into a bowl, squeezing in other 1/2 of lemon, mix with fork and add a few more glugs of olive oil until texture is saucy but not sloppy.
Season to taste and serve with pretty much anything except your morning cornflakes. Actually, strike that - it's probably great on cornflakes!
"I put a dish towel under the chopping board to stop it sliding around. This salsa verdi is seriously good with steak, roast chicken or roast veggies. Great also with fish, but you may want to down on the amount of chili."
Keyword Dairy-free, Dairy-free, vegetarian, can be made gluten-free with gluten-free matzo, Vegan