Salsa verde is a pretty loose name for any sauce, particularly one that is spanish or latin inspired, that is green.
This wonderful roasted cauliflower recipe was in a book that I first found online while searching for books dedicated to preparing veggies.
When I find interesting looking cookbooks (or any kind of book really), my first step is to check my local library. Our rural library system searches a broad network of libraries which all share books and they have an amazing assortment of cookbooks. I often find what I am looking for. Sometimes I glean one or two recipes or ideas and sometimes a book looks great but doesn’t actually end up interesting me. Then sometimes there is such great information that I feel compelled to purchase the book. Brassicas, by Laura B. Russel (I’m not making that up!!) was just such a book.
Foods from the brassica family are incredibly healthy. Broccoli, cauliflower, B.russel sprouts, collard greens, kales, cabbages – all belong to this antioxidant rich family of veggies. All of us know we should be eating more of them so a whole book dedicated to easy and delicious ways to prepare these powerhouses was a no-brainer. For me, this recipe alone was worth the price. It’s that good!
I have the most beautiful italian parsley in my garden this year and I have been frantically making chimichurri and this fabulous salsa verde in an attempt to savour its final hours, or days, or whatever we may be granted at this time of the year. I’ve used it in a few different ways but over roasted cauliflower was the first one I tried, and I’ve made it 3 or 4 times. It is also great over a grilled pork chop. The bright fresh flavours of parsley, lemon and olives really lift both of these humble foods to a new height.
I made it the first time with the one and only head of purple cauliflower that did not bolt early in the year in my garden, and the combination of green salsa and purple veg was a stunner on the plate and the palate.
Did you know that orange and purple cauliflower is higher in antioxidants than white cauliflower? So if you see it in your grocery store pick it up. It has the same great flavour and you get an extra cancer fighting benefit from its dark colour. I’d bet little kids would get a kick out of the coloured varieties too.
All you need to do to roast your cauliflower is toss it in a big bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and salt, spread it over a baking sheet and pop it into a roasting hot (400°) oven for about 20 minutes. You want to be able to put a fork in them but they should not be mushy and should still have some crunch. Then put the cauliflower back into your bowl and toss some of the salsa verde over it, mix until it is evenly distributed and chow down.
- 1/2 C packed fresh italian parsley leaves, chopped finely
- 1/4 C fresh chives, minced
- 1 Tbsp chopped pickled capers
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 tsp grainy dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 8 large green garlic stuffed olives (regular pitted green olives will work too)
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- Mix all ingredients together
- Let sit for 30 minutes for flavours to come together
- Serve over roasted cauliflower or roasted pork chops
- This salsa will keep for a few days in the refrigerator