Mr. Magpie has been making the most outrageously flavorful salsa verde this summer, and I cannot get enough. Salsa verde is a lot like Argentina’s chimichurri, but it hails from the Mediterranean and therefore involves anchovies and herbs plentiful there. Taking a bite makes me feel like I’m on a coastal vacation a la the snap above. Even if you aren’t a big anchovy lover, I implore you to try this recipe — the anchovy is undetectable, offering only an addictively briny umami flavor. Mr. Magpie has been serving the salsa verde alongside or on top of grilled fish, steak, and chicken, but it’s impossible not to drag whatever is on your plate through it, too — oven-roasted potatoes, spears of grilled asparagus, a forkful of couscous, a wedge of tomato, etc. Leftover salsa is heavenly mixed into eggs or spread across a piece of toast or as a topping for an open-faced sandwich.
This recipe comes from Missy Robbins’ cookbook Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner…Life. We are big fans of Missy Robbins, a chef and restauranteur with a James Beard award and Michelin stars under her belt. She’s best known currently for her restaurants Misi and Lilia in NYC, but Mr. Magpie and I have particular affection for her MP Grocery initiative, launched during the depths of the pandemic in NYC. You can buy fresh pasta, pantry staples, and select prepared food including the fixings for her celebrated pink peppercorn mafaldine dish — something of a menu celebrity at her restaurant Lilia. We’ve sent a few NYC-area friends gifts from this pantry/grocery/boutique, treated ourselves to the mafaldine, and then — on Christmas Eve 2020 — were able to pick up her “feast of the seven fishes” to-go package, in which she offered all of the ingredients and excellent recipe notes for an elaborate seven course fish meal (an Italian-American Christmas tradition). During a year of tragedy, anxiety, and isolation, that meal was a high point. We had not seen our parents for nearly a year and felt marooned on the 12th floor of our 86th Street apartment. Despite my fervent efforts, the holidays did not feel particularly festive. But around noon that Christmas Eve, our doorman Edwin called up to let us know we had a delivery, and we opened the door to an enormous bag from Misi on our doorstep. I saw immediately a way out of the funk. Mr. Magpie and I got dolled up, opened good champagne, and enjoyed course after course of superb seafood. I still remember the opening act: baked clams with their house-seasoned bread crumbs, calabrian chili, and olive oil; Nat King Cole on the kitchen speaker; a frosty coupe of champagne in my hand; Mr. Magpie in his apron at the stove. For an evening, the clouds parted and we all but forgot about COVID. Misi (or, more aptly, Missy) did that. Good food, thoughtfully planned and lovingly prepared, does that.
I am convinced that this salsa verde can have similar transportive properties.
Missy Robbins’ Salsa Verde.
Notes: Even Missy herself caveats that this condiment is labor-intensive (all ingredients must be cut by hand — do not try to short-cut with a food processor), but she also notes (and I can gleefully corroborate) that “the payoff is worth it.” Mr. Magpie often makes this in smaller batches, scaling down significantly as we are usually cooking for two, which might make the recipe a bit more approachable on a first go. We buy almost all of our pantry items from Gustiamo, including anchovies, vinegar, and olive oil. For recipes like this, the ingredients really matter.
1 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup minced tarragon
6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely shopped
1 large or 2 small shallots, finely diced
1 cup olive oil
1.5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1.5 tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus more to taste
- Mix parsley, chives, tarragon, anchovy, garlic, and shallots together in a small bowl. Cover with the olive oil. Set aside until ready to use.
- Place eggs in a small pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let sit exactly four minutes. Remove the eggs from the water and transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking. Once cooled, peel them and add only the yolks to the bowl of herbs along with the mustard. Mix together until blended — the consistency will be slightly textured, not smooth.
- Whisk in the vinegar and add more if necessary. The sauce should have a bright acidic bite to it.
+This limited edition set of summer-scented candles from Diptyque would make a great gift. Note that it includes one of the brand’s new mosquito-repelling candles (!), which you can also buy in full size here.
+Packing cubes are my love language?
+Another great running staple.
+This white maxi looks like heaven.
+This bathtub tray is crazy chic for the price!
+Another great and inexpensive pair of shades for summer. It’s all about the cateye!
+Still the best pens ever.
+This bralette looks insanely comfortable.
+How fab are these shorts?
+Wait – this bag is SO fun.
+A good sub for bacteria-breeding loofahs.