America's Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most foolproof recipe. America’s Test Kitchen's online cooking school is based on nearly 20 years of test kitchen work in our own facility, on the recipes created for Cook's Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines, and on our two public television cooking shows.
Salsa verde is a sauce made by grinding parsley, capers, anchovies, lemon juice and olive oil into a smooth purée. While its flavor - umami-rich and savory - is something to be touted, its versatility is our favorite aspect: This sauce can be served with grilled or roasted meat, fish or poultry, poached fish, boiled or steamed new potatoes, sliced tomatoes, sandwiches and countless other dishes.
We find that a slice of sandwich bread (dried out slightly in a toaster) is the key to creating a sauce that doesn’t separate. The bread also mellows out the potent flavors and helps create balance. And be sure to use a high quality olive oil, as the flavor is an essential component.
When it comes to parsley, you’ll find two types in your grocery store - curly-leaf and flat-leaf (also called Italian). Curly-leaf parsley is the most popular but, in our test kitchen, flat-leaf is by far the favorite. We find flat-leaf to have a sweet, bright flavor that's much preferable to the bitter, grassy tones of curly-leaf (flat-leaf is also much more fragrant than its curly cousin).
Once you master this recipe, you can use the same basic technique to make countless puréed sauces, including pestos, vegetable-based spreads and hummus.
(Yield: Generous 3/4 cup)
1 slice white sandwich bread
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups fresh Italian parsley leaves, lightly packed
2 anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons drained capers
1 small garlic clove
1/8 teaspoon table salt
For mise en place:
1. Juice 1 lemon to obtain 2 tablespoons liquid.
2. Wash and dry 2 cups parsley.
3. Drain 2 tablespoons capers to remove all liquid.
4. Peel and mince 1 small garlic clove (about 1/2 teaspoon).
To prepare the bread:
5. Toast 1 slice white sandwich bread in toaster at low setting until surface is dry but not browned, about 15 seconds.
6. Remove crust.
7. Cut bread into rough 1/2-inch pieces (about 1/2 cup).
To make the salsa:
8. Process bread pieces, 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice in food processor until smooth, about 10 seconds.
9. Add parsley, 2 anchovy fillets, capers, garlic and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
10. Pulse until mixture is finely chopped (mixture should not be smooth), about five 1-second pulses.
11. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula after 3 pulses.
12. Transfer mixture to small bowl and serve.
More from America's Test Kitchen:
Gas-grilled flank steak
Perfect poached chicken breasts
Braised red potatoes
Taste testing anchovies
The best food processor
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