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Pine Nut Herb Salsa
(recipe, Kelly Myers)
In Italy, a popular version of salsa verde — basically, any tangy condiment built around fresh green herbs — is one thickened with vinegar-soaked bread. You can serve this sauce on pasta, but it's more commonly eaten cold as a dip or spread.
- 1 slice good-quality white bread, such as como or ciabatta
- 2 Tbsp. Champagne or white-wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 Tbsp. pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 1 cup loosely packed mixed fresh herbs (use mostly flat-leaf parsley and then any of the following: chives, mint, tarragon, sage, and rosemary)
- Pinch of white sugar (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Lay the bread on a plate and pour the vinegar over it so it's evenly coated. Set aside to soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Peel the garlic clove, slice it, and put it in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt. Pound the garlic to a paste. Add half of the pine nuts and crush coarsely. Put the remaining whole pine nuts and the mixture of garlic and crushed pine nuts in a small mixing bowl.
- Finely chop the herbs and add to the bowl along with the sugar, if desired.
- Pull the interior of the bread away from the crust and squeeze out any excess vinegar, reserving the excess. Chop the bread (both crust and interior) and add it to the herbs and pine nuts.
- Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil and reserved vinegar (to taste) and stir thoroughly. Serve at room temperature.
The salsa may be stored in the refrigerator up to three days.