Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde takes its shape based on where you are dining. Food cultures across the globe have, not surprisingly, assigned their own ingredients and techniques to the ubiquitous term salsa verde (literally green sauce.) In Mexico, salsa verde is a mild to spicy mixture of tomatillo and chili pepper. It can be concocted as a cooked sauce that is then blended; as roasted ingredients that are then ground; or as a raw sauce blended and eaten without cooking. ALL options offer a delicious balance of tang and heat but roasting adds sweetness that rounds out the flavors. Mexican dishes that excel in green goodness include chilaquiles, enchiladas suisa, tacos de lengua en salsa verde and, my favorite, verdolagas en salsa verde con cerdo.

Now, come with me to the Basque country in Spain and you will encounter a very different sauce by the same name that stars parsley, garlic, white wine and fish stock, slightly thickened with a flour roux or otherwise emulsified. This bright, herbaceous fortified broth is stunning over fish, kokotxas (fish throats), and clams (Almejas en Salsa Verde.)