Grilled tongue with Wasabi Salsa Verde and Potato Salad

Preparation info

  • Serves


    as a starter
    • Difficulty


Appears in

A World in My Kitchen

A World in My Kitchen

By Peter Gordon

Published 2003

  • About

I can still remember Gran’s jellied ox tongue, but I have to admit it’s not the fondest of memories. I prefer to grill tongue, serving it warm and juicy with a piquant sauce. Your butcher should be able to sell you sliced, cooked tongue, otherwise you’ll have to cook it yourself — follow the How to Cook Tongue recipe opposite.


  • 24 cherry tomatoes, off the stem
  • 400 g (14 oz) baby potatoes
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 125 ml (4 ¼ fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely sliced into rings
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz) lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 firmly packed cup chopped mixed ‘soft’ herbs (e.g. coriander, parsley, dill, tarragon, mint)
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi powder or paste or grain mustard
  • 600 g (1 lb 3 ½ oz) cooked tongue, cut into 1 ½ cm ( in) thick pieces
  • cooking oil for basting


    Place tomatoes on baking paper on a baking tray and roast at 220°C/450°F/Gas Mark 6 until they just begin to pop. Or, heat up a frying pan and cook them in a little oil, shaking occasionally until they pop. Set aside.

    Cook potatoes in lightly salted water, drain and slice 1 cm (½ in) thick then combine with lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Break onion slices into rings and mix with three-quarters of the lemon juice and a little salt and pepper.

    To make salsa verde, mix herbs with remaining olive oil, wasabi and a pinch of salt. Mix well, then mix in remaining lemon juice.

    To serve, brush tongue with a little oil and grill or sauté until warmed through. Mix marinated onion with potatoes and divide between six plates. Lay tongue on top, then scatter on tomatoes and drizzle on the salsa verde, or serve it in a bowl.

    How to cook tongue

    Buy a raw pickled or brined ox tongue (or you may want to use several lambs’ tongues), place in a bowl of cold water and leave for 1 hour. Change the water and leave for another hour. Do this once more so the tongue has soaked for a total of 3 hours.

    Drain and place in a large pot with 2 large carrots, peeled and halved, 1 onion, peeled and halved, some herbs, 1-2 bayleaves and 1 cup vinegar. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer until the skin can be easily peeled back from the flesh (60-90 minutes for lambs’ tongues, 2-2 ½ hours for pig and ox tongues).

    Leave to cool in the liquid and peel when cooled. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.