Green sauce

Years ago, the original series of Food and Drink, a long running and now revived BBC programme about food, featured the wine critic, Jilly Goolden tasting olive oil. When i was growing up olive oil was not as widely available as it snow – most people knew of it as something which came in small bottles from the chemist and was used not for cooking but for putting in ears when you had earache. That olive oil was a vivid yellow and it had to be warmed in a teaspoon before being poured into the aching ear. By the time I was visiting France for the long summer holidays as a student, olive oil for cooking was widely available and we would buy five litre cans of it for cooking over our little Primus stove.

To return to Food and drink, which originally ran for twenty years from 1982 – 2002, and then from 2012 to the present, in the particular episode concerning olive oil, Goolden went to a supplier who had lots of different varieties. I guess this was some time in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s; I’m sure I haven’t imagined this, but the producer poured different little samples of oil into Goolden’s palm for her to taste. At the time this sounded disgusting, a spoonful of olive oil? I thought, uuugghhhh! However, I was sufficiently intrigued to have remembered this.

I really love olive oil now, and if I went back to that producer Goolden went to I would love to sample his oils as she did. I’m sure everyone has their personal favourites, and preferences, and mine is Greek. I came across some interesting recipes from a book about olive oil, including several for cold sauces similar to pesto but with a slight difference:

  • 2 tbsp capers
  • lots of parsley
  • the soft part of a small white bread roll, soaked in equal amounts of cider or white wine vinegar and water
  • a smidge of anchovy paste
  • lemon zest
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • plenty of lovely olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. put everything except the oil, salt and pepper in a blender – or a big pestle and mortar if you have one, and blend or pestle till smooth
  2. add enough oil to make a thick sauce of the consistency you like and add seasoning to taste

… and another green sauce recipe:

  • lots of parsley and mint, and a smaller amount of basil – or in quantities according to taste
  • 2 oz white breadcrumbs, soaked in equal amounts of cider or white wine vinegar and water
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 oz pine nuts
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • plenty of lovely olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. put everything except the oil, salt and pepper in a blender – or a big pestle and mortar if you have one, and blend or pestle till smooth
  2. add enough oil to make a sauce of the consistency you like and add seasoning to taste; allow it to rest for 30 mins, delicious with fish or meat such as chicken or pork

 

9 Comments

  1. David Lewis

    I drink a shot of olive oil every morning by itself as it’s good for digestion and cardiovascular system. Next comes ginger in pickle juice for arthritis and lastly papaya as desert also good for occasional constipation. I’m not sure how well they work for everyone but I swear by this regime and would be afraid to quit now. Gotta do my 100 push-ups. See ya.

    Like

  2. David Lewis

    Leftover pickle juice from our home made dill pickles. Have also kept ginger in lemonade but like the pickle juice more. Both keep the ginger fresh and out of the air. 50 more push-ups to go!

    Like

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