Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Salsa Verde

This is all there was left when I remembered to photograph it!

You can adjust the proportions of this wonderful Italian sauce to suit yourself, I imagine there are as many versions as there are households in Italy where it is made. Essentially it is a mixture of finely chopped herbs, my preference is basil, flat leaved parsley and mint, with garlic, capers, a little Dijon mustard, olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar. It is a prefect sauce to drape over a piece of fish, it's even good with fried Haloumi cheese and as for what to put on Jersey Royal potatoes in place of butter, there is no question, for me a little salsa verde is ideal.

For this sauce you will need;
Dijon mustard
Olive oil
Lemon, juice and zest (why not?)
or red wine vinegar.

You will note I haven't put down exact quantities, for enough sauce to serve for 4 people I would use, around 20 basil leaves, the same of mint leaves and an equivalent amount of flat leafed parsley. Begin to chop the herbs on a large chopping board, along with a clove or two of garlic, depending on the size of the cloves and also how garlicky you like your food and a tablespoon of capers, rinsed under running water for a moment or two. I like to chop everything quite finely, there is something very pleasing about taking the time to do this, but if you would prefer you can place the herbs, garlic and capers in a food processor and pulse until you have finely chopped but not disintegrated herbs. Transfer to a bowl and add 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, the finely grated zest and juice of a lemon or 2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar if using and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. The capers even after draining are salty so taste and check what the finished sauce requires by way of seasoning, a little salt may be required but only a little, for me some black pepper, and oddly enough I have been known to take the acid edge of the vinegar or lemon off by adding just a pinch of sugar. Stir to form an unctuous green sauce which will bring to life anything it's poured over, note I didn't say literally!

A couple of anchovy fillets can be chopped up with the herbs, capers and garlic, they do add a depth of flavour as well as the obvious saltiness, but omit of course if you are serving vegetarians.
Play around with the proportions to suit you and the food you are serving.


  1. It was delicious and I am going to try and make a version tonight.

    1. Excellent, I'm glad you enjoyed it enough to make it Sal, Bon appetite, Tôb.