What is Salsa Verde in Italian?

What is Salsa Verde

Sometimes I like to do simple posts to answer difficult questions. What is Salsa Verde?

Well, the answer depends on whether you are asking: “¿Qué es Salsa Verde?” or “Che cos’è Salsa Verde?”

If you said, “¿Qué es salsa verde?” then I would say a rather mild green sauce that’s delicious on chicken enchiladas. I would then direct you to Marc at No Recipes. I like his tomatillo answer to What is Salsa Verde?

But if you said,“Che cos’è Salsa Verde?” Well then I’d probably ask you to pull up a chair and listen up. In fact that’s just what I’m going to do. So pull up chair and listen up. I’ll try to answer the question, What is Salsa Verde in Italian?

Not to be confused with Marc’s Mexican salsa, this traditional Italian sauce is full of fresh herbs, capers, lemon, and garlic. It literally means “green sauce” (both in Spanish and Italian) and it’s delicious on all kinds of grilled, pan-seared or roasted meats, fish and vegetables. It’s good on omelettes. I like it with shrimp too– as you’ll soon see.

The next question I see forming on your lips is: How do you make Salsa Verde?

I can answer that too. Because it’s easy. All you do is chop a good handful of flat parsley and (usually) some other herb. Add chopped capers as they are essential. Add some anchovy fillets (if you like). Of course you’ll need garlic and lemon juice, maybe even red-wine vinegar. After that all you do is beat in enough olive oil to make a thick, slushy sauce. The best way to make Salsa Verde is to chop all the ingredients by hand, but I’ve had good results will all sorts of machines. Still, I prefer hand-chopping because the only mess it makes is a chef’s knife and a cutting board.

The only trick to Salsa Verde is to emphasize the ingredients you like best. By emphasize I mean ratio. I like mint. You’ll find a lot of mint in this version. You’ll also find the answer to the question “What is Salsa Verde in Italian?” GREG

Grilled Shrimp with Salsa Verde

Grilled Shrimp with Salsa Verde 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 2–3Source Adapted from Martha Stewart LivingPublished
Shrimp Salsa Verde


  • 3 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoon capers rinsed and chopped
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup mint leaves minced
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves minced
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 24 medium to large shrimp peeled and de-veined
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges


Mince the garlic, capers, and anchovies; transfer to a small bowl. Add ½ tsp of the salt; stir in the mint, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar. Set aside.

Pour the canola oil onto a grill pan over. Use a paper towel to spread it evenly over all the surfaces, wiping away the excess. Place the grill pan over medium high heat and allow it to get very hot.

Meanwhile, butterfly the shrimp by slicing down the center of each, lengthwise, almost but not completely through. De-veined will have a the lengthwise slit already. Follow this line to making the slit deeper to butterfly each one. Open both sides to lay as flat as possible. Season with the remaining ½ tsp of salt and the pepper.

Grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side, depending on size, until the shrimp just turn pink and opaque. Place 4 shrimp on each plate and spoon some of the sauce over them. Serve with lemon wedges.