Today’s the first day it feels like summer: Ninety-plus degrees, a fair amount of humidity, not much initiative.

Maybe it’s because we leave for Europe in two days, or maybe it’s the weather … but our energy is zapped and the last thing we want to think about is dinner.

On evenings like these, I’m thankful for a few tried-and-true recipes that require little-to-no effort. This salsa verde recipe from Chef Suzanne Goin is one of them: A trek to the herb garden and some bending and stretching to haul out the food processor are about all the work required.

I love this recipe for other reasons, too. After you’ve made it a couple of times, you can let your imagination fly. Mix up the herbs; use different citrus juices; add nuts or seeds to give it some heft.

verde2You can use it in myriad ways, too. Spoon it over grilled meats or fish; toss it with rice or pasta; or — as here — mix it with just-from-the-oven potatoes and sunchokes. The sauce keeps in the refrigerator for two to three days, and it freezes beautifully.

Hmmm. Sun-baked herbs, a no-cook sauce and next-to-no cooking … this is a sauce we’ll eat all summer!

Salsa Verde (Adapted from Suzanne Goin’s “Sunday Suppers At Lucques”)

Make this a couple of times following Goin’s instructions, then mix it up as you see fit. I love to use a medley of herbs — such as dill, cilantro and basil — with the ubiquitous mint.

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 anchovy filet or 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Turn your food processor on and drop the garlic clove through the feed tube. Process until finely minced.

Add the oregano, mint, parsley, anchovy, capers and lemon juice. Pulse until roughly chopped.

Turn the processor on and pour the olive oil through the feed tube. Taste and season with salt, pepper and a bit more lemon juice if needed.

Use this sauce on pasta, meats, fish, rice or vegetables. To make the potatoes and sunchokes:

  • Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a medium saucepan of water. Peel and quarter 1 pound sunchokes and place in the water. Season with salt and bring to a boil. Boil for 20-30 minutes, or until fork tender but not falling apart.
  • Drain and dry the sunchokes. Combine with 1 pound fingerling potatoes. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a 400-degree oven for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  • Remove from the oven and spoon on the salsa verde, tossing to coat.