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Getting saucy with your veg

Roast pumpkin with zhoug 2
26/07/2018 |

We all know veggies are good for our health but who really feels like eating salads in the middle of winter? The solution? Delicous baked winter veg made interesting with a magic green sauce! Green sauces are herbaceous, full of flavour and packed with immune boosting antioxidants and vitamin C. A little garlic adds a bang to the flavours whilst keeping those winter bugs away. Green sauces are a tasty way to sneak in some extra greens and jazz up roast veggies to make sure you are meeting your vegetable quota.

The best thing about green sauces is that you be sure to use up all of those half bunches of herbs that would otherwise sit and wilt in the fridge. They never have to go to waste again because there is no wrong or right way to make a green sauce – just throw in whatever you have and blend! Some guidelines are good to get you started though, and after some practice you can just use your instinct. Here are our favourites:

Rocket pesto

This twist on regular basil pesto is great for getting the digestion going as rocket has that gentle bitter quality to it. The bitterness is balanced out by the other ingredients though, making it a flavour party for your palate. Top any roast veg with it, such as sweet potato, cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini, pumpkin, beetroot, carrot, parsnip, fennel or red capsicum. If you chop the veg into bite sized pieces you can easily toss them into a salad with some green leaves and add the pesto on top as a wonderful dressing. A dollop of rocket pesto on top of your scrambled eggs is also wonderful.

  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 25g pine nuts, walnuts or cashews very lightly toasted in a dry frypan or in the oven
  • 50g rocket
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 25g Parmesan, finely grated (optional)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 125ml cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
Salsa verde

This classic Italian green sauce goes wonderfully with any roast veg but also on fish, chicken, poached eggs or steak. You can swap the mint out for fresh coriander or rosemary as you please.

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2-1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 1 handful of fresh mint
  • 1 small handful of capers
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 8 tablespoons cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
Zhoug

This Middle-Eastern version of pesto is traditionally made with green chilli and is quite hot. Its a wonderful winter warmer but feel free to modify the heat level or omit the chilli. You can also add lemon zest if you like a moreRoast pumpkin with zhoug 4 punchy flavour. Zhoug is magical with roast pumpkin and labne, over roast eggplant and cauliflower, or on meatballs, felafels or boiled eggs.

  • 4 jalapeño chillis
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander (leaves and stalks but be sure to wash the sand out thoroughly)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

Green Tahini

This sauce is addictive so consider making a double batch to keep in your fridge and spread over everything. Goes well drizzled on roast veg, roast chicken, felafel or on toast.

  • 150ml tahini
  • 70ml lemon juice
  • 150ml water
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 30g (or one handful) flat-leaf parsley leaves (you could also use coriander or a combination of both)
  • salt to taste

Chimichurri

This Argentinian green sauce with its dominant parsley and garlic flavour is an excellent sauce or marinade for meat and vegetables, or can be used as a condiment to spice up just about anything you can imagine.

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stems removed
  • salt to taste
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