Lisa’s Letters Home: Salsa Verde

Lisa’s Letters Home: Salsa Verde

I’m pretty sure that I was Italian in another life, or there are some Italian genes somewhere in my roots. I love all things Italian, particularly, their amazingly diverse (and deceptively simple) food. The kids are fans too, and not just at the pasta and pizza end of the spectrum. Risotto is one of their “get better” foods when they’re not feeling well, and baked polenta cut into strips was one of their first finger foods.

Although having said that, one of my favourite meals as a kid was Spaghetti-Os on toast. Hey, at least I never put ketchup on my Kraft Dinner!

I’m grateful that our kids love fish, because fish is one of those things that people either love or hate. One of our weekly staples is salmon and thanks to The Big Supermarket That Shall Not Be Named, we’ve been buying sides of half price salmon. We’ve been able to feed a family of 5 on salmon on £10, which is pretty darn good. We usually get leftovers too, if I manage to hide it in the fridge before my husband gets to it.

I tend to cook it very simply – season, put it in the oven, bake for 25 minutes, and that’s it. Sometimes I put a layer of parma ham on top before baking, which the kids love. As my 7-year-old put it, “It’s salmon and ham! Two of my favourite things!” It’s great on pasta with a creamy sauce, or as is with some steamed broccoli.

A while ago, I came across a recipe for something called salsa verde – the Italian variety, not the Mexican kind (which is also very lovely, by the way.) It’s herby, garlicky, and fresh. It’s best made on the day you want to eat it as the fresh herbs don’t hold up well once cut. It’s a great accompaniment for fish or chicken, and even the kids will eat it – despite it being green.

You can also mix it in with some boiled new potatoes and serve warm as a side dish, or chilled as a potato salad. You can put a big dollop of it on top of grilled halloumi, too. It’s the sauce that keeps giving. It’s awesome sauce.

The recipe is a bit imprecise, but don’t let that put you off. Make it to taste. If you like basil and don’t like parsley, leave the parsley out. I’ve seen variations with pieces of stale bread added and chopped hard boiled egg. I’ve always stuck to this recipe, and it always reminds me of summer.

Lisa’s Letters Home: Salsa Verde


  • A handful of fresh parsley, fresh basil, and fresh mint
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp of capers
  • 1-2 anchovy filets
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil


Chop the herbs and add them to a small bowl.

Crush and mince the garlic, and chop the capers and anchovies finely.

Add to the herbs.

Add the vinegar, mustard, and a bit of salt and pepper to the bowl.

Pour in enough olive oil until you get a sauce.

You want it about the consistency of Mexican salsa.

Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately.



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