Herby Green Sauce on Things
chimichurri-like gremolata-ish, almost pistou, could be pesto, is delicious
things you’ll need: fish or chicken or steak or bread or burrata, olive oil, parsley, basil (optional other herbs like cilantro, oregano, mint or whatever), lemon (or lime or whatever), garlic and/or shallot, salt, pepper, optional Aleppo chili or other flake, cheese, nuts, etc.
incidentally gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan depending on what you put it on
You don’t always know what to do. You try to do what’s right, but it’s not always clear. You make a lot of mistakes. You try to learn from them. There is so much happening all the time and sometimes you cry about it and sometimes you rage, you action and read, occasionally you just ice cream and couch potato about it.
Juneteenth will become a federal holiday, but no one can get the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed and you wonder if it will be enough reform even after it gets passed. Not to mention all those people trying to ban critical race theory, further illustrating how hard people will work to hold on to the status quo (white supremacy) “and how dare you make us feel bad by talking about it!” Voting rights, corruption, coverups, refugees, and the continuous criminalization of black people in America.
Benjamin Netanyahu has been removed from office, but he hasn’t moved out of the residence and Israel is launching air raids again and this new coalition government is… dubious. Not that the entire premise of the conflict isn’t completely rooted in colonialism, imperialism, brutality, cultural trauma, genocide, and that’s before religion, zealotry, zionism, and “divine rights” even come into play.
Then, there is still a pandemic out there. No matter how many US cities are like, “It’s over! Go to a bar! Go shopping! Lick everyone’s face!” people are still dying.
At least some parts of the government are protecting some trans-rights even though trans and gender non-conforming people are still being murdered at a horrific rate.
Even without all the constant awfulness of the world we’ve created, it’s really hard to stay motivated with all the challenges you face just trying to live your life. Sometimes you find yourself starring into the refrigerator thinking about 100 things that are not dinner, trying to find the will to feed yourself.
Making Gremolata is a perfect way to exorcise your rage and it’s also a great condiment to liven up an otherwise depressing dinner choice. Gremolata is practically a chimichurri, but with no vinegar or chili flake. Pistou is almost pesto, but without nuts. Grab what herbs you have (a cup of parsley and a few trimmed leaves of basil). Chop them up, a lot. The chopping helps a little.
Grab a lemon because lemon goes with everything. Zest a bunch of rind (the entire lemon) directly onto the pile of mostly completely chopped herbs and then use your knife to continue chopping in order to combine the herbs and zest and concentrate on something you can control.
Mince, grate, or press some garlic and/or shallot into the herb pile and keep chopping it all together. Now you have Gremolata.
Think it needs something more? Stir those herbs in a bowl with some good olive oil, salt, pepper, and Aleppo chili flake. That’s where you stop, but you don’t have to.
If you use a lot of basil and add grated cheese, like gruyere, aged gouda, parm or something else then it’s basically a Pistou. If you add toasted nuts and blend it all up, now it’s a Pesto.
Skip the cheese and nuts, use more cilantro, tart it up with vinegar and/or a little lemon (or lime), Then, boom: Chimichurri.
Put in on salmon or whitefish or chicken thighs or beans or pasta or blanched vegetables or scrambled eggs or cheese or toast. Use it as a dressing in a salad of chopped vegetables. It’s the silver lining you’ve been looking for. It’s the bright spot in an otherwise uninspired dinner. It’s what made today a little better.
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