I like to keep weekday dinners really simple and sauces like this are my way of make even the simplest grilled fish and steamed vegetables gorgeous. This is a bright green and pink sauce that’s great for adding flavour to simple grilled, steamed or roast fish or chicken. You could also use it to liven up hardboiled eggs, or even stir it into some cooked butter beans, chickpeas or white haricots to create a filling salad. If you like pungent, slightly salty, earthy flavours you will love this. And of course the garlic and herbs are a vitality-booster.
Makes 1 jar (to serve 6)
Large bunch flat-leaf parsley
Small handful of basil leaves, if available
3 anchovies (the brown, salted kind if possible, instead of the vinegary white ones)
1 large clove garlic (or 2 small) peeled and crushed or finely chopped
1/2 tbs finely chopped shallot (or red onions)
Optional: 1 heaped tbs gluten-free wholegrain breadcrumbs (if you are not gluten intolerant use sourdough wholemeal breadcrumbs) – the crumbs thicken the sauce – personally I don’t care whether it’t thickened or not so I never bother.
1 tbsp capers (or 2 if you want) – squeeze out some of the vinegar before using or, better still, buy salted capers and simply rinse off the salt before using)
Extra virgin olive oil, as high quality as you can manage
- Remove the thick stalks from the parsley and chop it and the basil as finely as you can manage. Place in a bowl.
- Chop the anchovies and the capers finely and add to the bowl, along with the garlic, breadcrumbs, chopped shallot/red onion and capers. Add enough olive oil to almost cover everything and mix well.
- If you have time, leave this for 20 minutes or more for the flavours to amalgamate before serving. Or serve a dollop on top of some simply-cooked chicken or fish straight away. This will keep in a small airtight jar in the fridge for several days but basil does discolour once chopped. So you might only want to chop enough basil for what you will use the same day.
Why this is good for you:
Raw extra virgin olive oil is a fantastic source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is in fact not just one substance, but a collection of different compounds (tocopherols and tocotrienols) that occur naturally in foods. You need vitamin E for beautiful smooth skin and for helping your body repair and maintain itself inside and out to stay younger longer. Its also crucial for a healthy libido! Garlic supports liver function for clearing both natural and man-made chemical toxins out of your body. Garlic thins your blood so can reduce high blood pressure naturally. It’s also a food that helps kill gut infections and also encourages the growth of good bacteria. Parsley helps support your immune system, your kidney and bladder function and also helps kill the smell of garlic on your breath. Its rich in vitamin C, which reactivates vitamin E in your body. Parsley also calms your digestive system and can reduce gas.