Last week I had a networking lunch in downtown Sausalito. I ordered an heirloom tomato mozzarella salad with arugula, farro and pesto. It was the quintessential taste of summer; simple, fresh, and bright. The whole time I was thinking: I really should have something like this on the blog. Little did I remember, just a week before I made and photographed today's recipe for a playful spin on the popular tomato, mozzarella, and pesto pairing.
The star of today's recipe is the Italian Salsa Verde. Many food cultures have a "green sauce". Chimichurri in Argentina, chutney in India, chermoula in Morocco, a Mexican salsa verde and an Italian salsa verde. (I'm just realizing all of these sauces are on the blog -- apparently I love my green sauces!)
Full of herbs and studded with capers and Dijon mustard, Italian salsa verde is pesto's sharper, bolder cousin. I toss everything in a food processor for a quick blend. Some recipes have you chop by hand so you get a loose, chunky sauce. The blended sauce freezes well. The chunky version works when you want something spoon-able for white fish or an arranged tomato mozzarella salad. Either way, this sauce invigorates your taste buds and brightens anything you pair it with. Hope you try it out. Once you have it on hand, the mozzarella and tomato toasts (for which I've provided a rough guideline below) makes for a satisfying and effortless meal.
Italian Salsa Verde | Tomato & Mozzarella Toasts
Notes: Recipe calls for basil, dill and mint. Other soft herbs, or combination of herbs, may be used based on availability and preference.
- 20 gr basil, tough stems discarded
- 20 gr. dill, tough stems discarded
- 20 gr. mint, tough stems discarded
- 4 Tbsp. chopped cornichons (~8)
- 2 Tbsp capers, drained (if using caper berries, chop before measuring)
- 2 clove garlic, crushed
- 2-3 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Several generous pinches of salt
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 Tbsp. water, for thinning (optional)
- Add everything to a food processor and blend to desired consistency, adding water at the end if you want it thinner. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
Ideas: Use in Mozzarella & Tomato Toasts (recipe below), toss into a grain salad, thin with more vinegar and oil for a salad dressing, spoon over smoked tofu or grilled fish.
Mozzarella & Tomato Sourdough Toasts
- Mix a few spoonfuls of Italian salsa verde with bocconcini and halved cherry tomatoes.
- Spoon over toasted sourdough bread and top with micro greens or sprouts of choice. Serve with extra sauce at the table.
*Basil, mint, dill, and micro greens provided by Bay Area Herbs & Specialties. All opinions are my own.