In the Phong Nha region of Vietnam, they serve a spicy green sauce with BBQ pork. Ingredients include Vietnamese coriander, garlic, lemon leaves, lemon zest, hot pepper and sugar. Its spicy and sweet: a perfect combination.
I wanted to recreate the flavors but didn’t have access to lemon leaves. And since I had a ton of parsley and scallions on hand, I came up with this version. It packs a big punch, so you won’t need that much. As a plus, this can be made in advance and keeps for days in the refrigerator. Serve it with pork and meat dishes, but it’s also great on fish.
Spicy Parsley-Scallion Pesto
Makes about 1 cup.
1 large clove of garlic
A handful of parsley
1/2 a jalapeno
1 Meyer lemon
1 tbsp of ginger
1 tbsp of agave syrup (or honey)
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the garlic and parsley in the food processor.
Chop. Then add the scallions and jalapeno (mine happened to be orange).
Squeeze all the juice from the lemon into the mixture. Add a little lemon zest too. Toss in the ginger and agave. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on it. Blend well. Taste. Adjust seasonings as needed.
I tested it with the pan-roasted skate I posted earlier.
But it was even better with Asian-style grilled ribs!