Last week I brought you ‘Pa amb tomàquet‘, a Catalan specialty of toasted bread topped with garlic, olive oil and smushed tomatoes. Catalan cuisine has many influences from Spanish, French, Italian and Arabic cooking and with its long gastronomic history, Catalonia has much to offer to the palate. Here is another stable sauce from Catalan called ‘Salsa Jurvert’ -which is similar to the Italian salsa verde, but with less ingredients. This recipe is a green sauce of parsley, basil, garlic and sunflower oil. It has only four ingredients (making it a simple sauce to prepare) and is based on Medieval gastronomic cuisine. Simple to make, a joy to eat.
Salsa Jurvet: A Catalan Salsa Verde
Catalonia is a region located on the North East part of Spain. Although Catalonia is part of Spain, its culture, cuisine and language are distinct. I highly recommend a visit to the area, the weather, food and Catalonia culture are just amazing! We spent a week at a super deluxe campground called Vilanova Park, located about 40 kilometers south of Barcelona. At the grocery store in the campground (which was incredibly huge and well stocked with goodies) I discovered in the refrigerator section a Salsa Jurvert, made by Fruits SP, a local company that makes ‘artisanal’ (almost homemade) products. Their salsa verde was delicious, so much so that we brought back three pots of it to France. The Salsa Jurvet manufactured by Fruits SP contains just four ingredients (wow!): sunflower oil, parsley, garlic, and basil. Their recipe was one of a variation you can find in the region, but the main ingredient in Salsa Jurvert is jurvert (or parsley)in English. Some Salsa Jurvert recipes use marjoram or mint as the complementary herb instead of basil, but the main ingredient is parsley.
Their version was delicious, so I tried to recreate my own Salsa Jurvert using the same four ingredients. This sauce tastes better after marinating in the jar overnight so I made it last night to enjoy with today’s lunch.
Here is how to make your own.
How to Make Salsa Jurvert *Salsa Verde*
Ingredients: (for about one cup of sauce)
- 3 small garlic cloves (or 2 large cloves)
- small bunch of parsley washed and dried with paper towel (I used curly leaf parsley (which tastes slightly bitter), but you can substitute with flat leaf parsley to make this salsa verde)
- about 12-15 basil leaves
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil plus a bit more to top up the sauce at the end
- an empty clean jar that holds at least one cup of salsa verde
Putting Salsa Verde Together:
Note: To have the best flavor and texture, this salsa verde is ideally made with a mortar. If you do not have a mortar, mince finely the garlic, parsley and basil with a sharp knife and blend ingredients well in a bowl. In this last method, use a large wooden spoon to ‘smush’ and pound the salsa verde together. You can also use a food processor if desired.
- Get the four ingredients ready.
- Mince the garlic. Remove the curly parsley leaves from stem and mince well. (Use only the leaves for the salsa). Mince basil leaves.
- Put garlic, parsley, basil and sunflower oil in a large mixing bowl or a mortar.
- Mix the salsa verde well, smushing and pounding the parsley, basil and garlic together with a heavy wooden spoon or in the mortar.
- Put salsa verde back into the empty jar and push the parsley mix down into the jar with a spoon. Then cover the salsa verde with enough sunflower oil to be sure there is a small layer of oil on top of salsa verde. The oil is important to add because it will keep the salsa from spoiling in the refrigerator.
- You can keep the salsa verde up to one month in the refrigerator. Mix well before serving.
How to Use Salsa Jurvert or Catalan Salsa Verde:
This is our lunch today: Simple. Quick.
Leftover rice. Lomo Embuchado (a Catalan cured dried pork). A dollop of Salsa Jurvert. (and green salad as the first course). Enjoy for yourself a bite of rice with a small amount of salsa verde. Then some lomo with the salsa verde. Yum.
I also enjoy this salsa verde on hamburgers!
If you feel very adventurous, why not cook the typical fish dish from Catalonia called Merluza Salsa Verde (Hake in a Green Sauce). Aren’t fish and parsley a perfect combination? Claro que si!
If you like Catalan cuisine and want to know more about Salsa Jurvert, click on these links to learn more about Catalan’s Salsa Verde and Catalan cuisine.
- Catalonia Salsa Jurvet-(In Spanish) from Gastronomica & Cia
- Catalan Cuisine Through History
- An Introduction to Catalan Cuisine
Last week on the blog was a recipe for Catalan Sun Toast, called ‘Pa amb tomàquet’. In case you missed it, check out the article here: Catalan Sun Toast: Pa Amb Tomàquet’
And please continue to tune in on the blog for more ways that you can move to ‘happiness’ with the simple pleasures of a meal or drink, prepared or served with flavor, taste and presentation at the forefront. Simple dishes, simple ideas, simple tricks to bring taste and appreciation.
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Thanks for your support. Warmly, Mary