Fish with salsa verde (photos #1 and #2 © Good Eggs).
Many Americans think that salsa is a spicy tomato and chile dip for tortilla chips.
In fact, salsa is the Spanish word for sauce of any kind. Salsa de chocolate, for example, is chocolate sauce.
The Spanish word salsa derives from the Latin salsa, meaning salty, which itself derives from the Latin sal, salt (most Spanish salsas are not salty, however, but spicy).
Not all salsas are Mexican in origin; in fact, each Spanish-heritage country has its own variety of salsa (Mexico has dozens, a different specialty in each state).
Today, we’re yet another variety of salsa. This one is a salsa verde* (green sauce) featuring green olives. It can be used over fish, chicken, rice, eggs, and in the recipe below, vegetables.
Not your typical salsa verde, this recipe is chunky with olives and almonds. Any leftovers are equally good at room temperature for lunch the next day.
Ingredients For 2-3 Servings
1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. Spread the florets in a single layer on one half of a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
2. PLACE the fish, skin-side down on the other half of the sheet. Run your fingers over the flesh to check for pin bones and remove them with kitchen tweezers. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. BAKE until the florets just start to brown, about 20 to 25 minutes (longer if you prefer a softer texture or more well-done fish). While the food is baking…
4. MAKE the salsa verde. In a small mixing bowl, combine the chopped greens, olives, almonds, vinegar and enough olive oil to bind without. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
5. REMOVE the baking sheet from the oven. Plate and spoon the salsa over the cauliflower and the fish and. Serve with a lemon or lime wedge.
*Salsa verde is typically made with green chiles, tomatillos and cilantro. Used primarily as a garnish rather than a dip, it is much thinner than a tomato-based salsa roja/red sauce (this recipe, laden with olives and almonds, is an exception). A salsa verde can be fresh or cooked.
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