Salsa verde is a collection of uncooked condiments from across the globe. They come in different versions based on their origin and can be classified broadly into the following. Pesto or salsa verte from Italy is made with herbs with or without cheese, chimichurri from Argentina, and tomatillo or avocado salsa from Mexico. These green sauces are delicious and very versatile and can be used as dips, pasta sauces, rubs on meats and sides on the table.
I like making my own version of these sauces as the commercial versions are very oily and filled with chemicals and preservatives. Also the fresher the salsa verde the more beautiful its flavour which tends to fade over time.
This is a classic Italian version of herbs and good-quality olive oil. The softness of the salsa compliments the creamy goat's cheese and the pop of tartness from the tomatoes. This is a simple canapé, but one that works so well.
This is my favourite canapé book, it is a small beautiful cookbook filled with wonderful recipes from a chef who understands the art of composing these perfect bites. The recipes are quite simple, but always pop with flavour and the photographs are stunning (trying to get there myself). If there is one canapé book on your shelf, this should be it.
For more recipes from this amazing cookbook, click here.
For the salsa verde:
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup parsley leaves
5 sprigs of mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 shallot, sliced
Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
4 tablespoons olive oil, salt, to taste
12 cherry tomatoes, halved horizontally
1/2 cup soft goat's cheese, see note below
Sourdough or country leaf
Add all the ingredients to a small blender and purèe to a rough salsa. You want it to be coarse. Taste the salsa for tartness and salt. Allow the salsa t come together for 2-3 hours at room temperature.
Toast the sourdough bread if desired. Spread a generous layer of goat's cheese on the bread followed by a drizzle of the salsa verde and top with 2-3 tomato halves. Serve immediately.
Note: If you have hard and crumbly goat's cheese, you can soften it by adding a touch of cream or milk and mashing it with a fork till you achieve a soft and creamy texture.