An herb-centric salsa verde is the classic green sauce of Italy. Unlike a green tomatillo sauce (also known as salsa verde in Latin cooking) the Italian version is flavored with olive oil, chopped parsley, lemon zest, garlic, capers, and a couple of anchovies. It adds lively freshness to almost any simple dish no matter the provenance. Don’t hesitate to experiment when making salsa verde. You can tweak the herb ratios or make it thicker or thinner with more or less oil according to your needs.
The optional lemon juice makes the sauce zestier, but add it just before serving, as the acid will cause the herbs to discolor.
- 2 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
- ½ cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
- ¼ cup lightly packed fresh tarragon leaves
- 2–3 anchovy fillets
- 2 clove garlic (peeled and minced)
- 1 tablespoon chopped capers (rinsed and dried)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
- freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine parsley, mint, tarragon, anchovies, garlic, capers, about ½ teaspoon salt and a generous grinding of pepper. Pulse briefly to combine. With the motor running, drizzle in about ½ cup olive oil. Process until you achieve the desired consistency. You may use more or less oil to your own taste. Scrape the sauce into a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Stir in lemon juice just before serving if using.