Monday, January 06, 2014
Collards in Salsa Verde? Why Not?
Contributor Jim Dixon of Real Good Food is one of those natural cooks, not restricted to must-dos and must-haves of recipes and unafraid to stray from traditional preparations. No parsley when he wanted to make salsa verde? No problem! He just headed out into his garden.
The cold weather last month trashed my herb garden, so when I wanted to make a last-minute salsa verde for some halibut the only plants showing any green were the sage and rosemary. But my collard greens had survived the freeze, and I thought they might work as a substitute for parsley. I clipped off a few leaves and came up with this.
Collard Green Salsa Verde
Get some water boiling, add a large pinch of salt, and drop in 3 or 4 collard leaves (if you’ve got some winter collards in your garden, you may need more of the smallish leaves). Cook for a about 5 minutes, then lift out and let cool. Squeeze out as much water as you can, then chop into very small pieces (you could use a food processor, but I prefer the texture of hand-cut salsa verde). You should have a cup or more; put the finely chopped greens in a bowl.
Rinse and soak a tablespoon of Pantellerian salt-packed capers*; coarsely chop and add to the greens. Do the same, although maybe dice smaller, to a couple of garlic cloves. I had a lemon, so I added some zest and juice along with plenty of extra virgin olive oil (roughly twice as much oil as lemon juice; use good vinegar if you don’t have a lemon). Add a nice pinch of Pantellerian oregano*, mix well and taste for salt. Serve with fish, pork, eggs, vegetables or almost anything.
* Store-bought capers and dried oregano will substitute for the amazing Pantellerian varieties that Jim carries at Real Good Food, though the flavor will be slightly different.