Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday

As promised, it's recipe time!

For those who might not know, there are a lot of countries which have their own variation on green sauce, as it was imported from the Near East by the Romans, and eventually spread through its empire. Basically, it's a sauce which features a mixture of various green herbs; many variations of this sauce are mayonnaise-based. I decided I loved avocados more, so my take on Sauce au Vert was born.

Sauce au Vert
1 avocado
2-3 garlic cloves
1 bunch chives
2-3 bunches basil
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tbsp tarragon vinegar
Sea salt
Olive oil, varies due to preferred consistency.

Blend your greens with lemon juice, garlic, and tarragon vinegar. This is essential! You want to get those greens dealt with before you add the avocado, or you'll just gum up the works of your food processor or blender (ask me how I know).  Once you have your greens dealt with, whether that's a rougher chop or a more consistent puree, you want to add in your avocado and blend again. Thin your sauce to desired consistency with olive oil and salt to taste.
This recipe creates a thick butter which is great to top fish or eggs, or a thinner dressing, pasta sauce, or dip.

You can mix this up by swapping half the basil for cilantro, and swapping the lemon for lime. Add jalepenos for kick. Or, change the flavors with additional herbs like parsley, oregano, dill, or sage. Add mustard or horseradish for kick. Add anchovies or capers for a saltier flavor. Roast your garlic beforehand for a sweeter, more mild garlic flavor. If you want to make a boatload, add a ton of spinach. There are all sorts of ways to change it up!

I served this as a topping for salmon, and it was a huge hit. (It also ended up on top of the asparagus). With extra lemon and olive oil to thin it, it would also make a great dressing for a salad meant to accompany the salad. Some other ideas:

  • Add tuna or salad shrimp. Keep the herbs the same or take it in a Mexican-inspired direction. Stuff a tomato or bell pepper with your concoction and delight your taste buds.
  • Slice eggplant or zucchini with a mandoline, and make a raw take on pesto rollatini.
  • Toss with pasta or zoodles, and serve with sun dried tomatoes. You can add chicken or pine nuts for added protein.
  • Use it as a sauce base for a vegetable flatbread.
  • Whirr it up with some white beans for a hummus-like dip for crudites.
  • Use a dollop to top off some minestrone.
  • Top off your turkey burgers, crab cakes, or fish cakes with this sauce.
  • Use it as a spread for club sandwiches or BLTs.
  • Garnish your eggs with it. (Trust me, it's delicious!)
  • This makes a great alternative to butter when you want something to jazz up your corn on the cob.

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