I’ve been reading a lot about Basque cuisine recently and a number of authors refer to four different sauces that are emblematic of the Basque Country. ‘Salsa verde’, ‘salsa vizcaína’,’ salsa pil-pil’ and ‘salsa de tinta de chipirones’. I say emblematic because not only do they in part compose the colours of the Basque flag (the Ikurriña), they could also be seen as representing the four regions of the Spanish Basque Country (Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa, Araba and Nafarroa.) ‘Salsa verde’ is green, ‘salsa vizcaína’ is red, ‘salsa pil-pil’ is white and ‘salsa de tinta de chipirones’ is black.
I had hake accompanied with ‘salsa verde’ for dinner tonight. I must say the recipe is so easy and requires so few ingredients that I think it will become a staple of mine. The only things you have to be sure to have are hake and some fresh parsley. The results are a wonderfully rich sauce which goes nicely with baby potatoes or crusty bread and a lovely, flaky fillet of fish:
Hake with ‘salsa verde’
2 fillets of hake, deboned
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2.5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of flour
125ml fish stock
salt and pepper
1. Season the hake with salt and pepper. Start heating up the stock.
2. Heat the oil with the garlic until it starts to sizzle. Add the pinch of flour and stir well to combine.
3. Add the stock and leave to boil for 1 minute.
4. Slide the fillets skin-up into the boiling liquid. Simmer over a low flame for 2-4 minutes depending on the size of the fillet.
5. Turn the fillet over and cook for a further1-2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
6. Sprinkle the sauce with the parsley. Turn up the flame and boil the sauce for 3 minutes to reduce.
7. Return the fish to the pan for 1 minute to heat through and serve.