Sunday Supper

Add lively freshness to simple dishes with Italian salsa verde


Main Dish

Crispy Salmon with Salsa Verde

Round out the meal with boiled new potatoes, steamed green beans and a California pinot noir.

1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh sage

3 tablespoons drained capers, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

Grated zest from 1 lemon

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

6 salmon fillets (about 2 pounds total), skin removed

3 tablespoons lemon juice

6 lemon wedges, for garnish

Mix the herbs with the capers, garlic, lemon zest and 6 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over high heat in a large nonstick pan. Cook salmon in a single layer until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes. Turn, season with salt and pepper, and cook other side until golden and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir lemon juice into herb mixture. To serve, place a salmon fillet on each plate and top with the sauce. Serve garnished with lemon wedges. Makes 6 servings.

Source: Adapted from “Wine Country Cooking” by Joanne Weir (Time-Life $27.50).

Per serving: 341 calories (68 percent from fat), 25.6 g fat (5 g saturated, 11.2 g monounsaturated), 67 mg cholesterol, 25.4 g protein, 1.4 g carbohydrates, 0.4 g fiber, 203 mg sodium.

Italian salsa verde — not to be confused with the spicy Mexican sauce of the same name — is bright with herbs and deeply flavored with olive oil, garlic, capers, lemon, and sometimes anchovies.

It’s an easy way to add lively freshness to simple dishes such as grilled chicken or fish, potato salad and sliced tomatoes. There’s no long simmering or blending required. You simply whisk the ingredients together until you reach the consistency of a loose pesto.

Here are tips:

• A sharp knife slices cleanly through fresh herbs, preserving flavor and color, while a dull knife mashes and bruises them. You can use a food processor, but I prefer the texture of hand chopping.

• When zesting a lemon, avoid the bitter white pith beneath. The zest brightens the flavor of the sauce. A Microplane zester is an excellent tool for the job.

• Feel free to vary proportions. I tend to use less oil for a thicker consistency when I serve salsa verde alongside roasted meats and grilled vegetables, and more oil with fish or chicken.

• To adapt the salsa for use with steak, substitute red-wine or balsamic vinegar for the lemon juice and zest, and add Dijon mustard to taste.

Carole Kotkin is manager of the Ocean Reef Club cooking school and co-author of “Mmmmiami: Tempting Tropical Tastes for Home Cooks Everywhere.”

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