When I was back home over Christmas my aunt made an amazing salsa verde salmon dish for the family which very much inspired me to adapt it for a single serve portion (coming soon). Of course, I couldn’t resist making myself a good batch of Italian salsa verde to keep me going for a few weeks in the meantime – it seemed like such a waste to make just one portion when it’s just so yum!
I know a lot of my readers are in the US, and when you hear salsa verde you probably think of the Mexican spicy sauce. If you haven’t tried the Italian version before then you absolutely should! Here are some of the key things you need to know:
What is Italian Salsa Verde?
Salsa verde is essentially a green sauce. The literal translation from Italian to English is ‘sauce green’. A lot of countries actually have their own variation of a traditional green sauce. Mexican Salsa Verde is most common in America, which is a very different sauce to this, made with tomatillos and being quite spicy. European salsa verde variations are based on green herbs. The french variety (sauce verte) is made with taragon, whilst the German version (Grüne Soße) uses a huge total of 7 different herbs including parsley, chives & cress.
Italian salsa verde is also a herb based sauce using parsley as the base. It includes anchovies, capers, lemon juice, olive oil garlic and vinegar. I also add gherkins which I believe is common in some regions although not true to the original.
What does It taste like?
Italian salsa verde is quite a tart and salty sauce. The saltiness comes from the capers and anchovies, while the lemon juice and vinegar add the more acidic flavours. It’s very delicious and very ‘herby’.
You probably wouldn’t want to eat by the spoonful but it’s amazing with warm slices of bread dipped into it. It’s also great smothered on top of meat or fish. When you cook it the flavours seem to mellow a little although it’s still delicious (and maybe more palatable to people who don’t like the strength of the flavours).
Can Salsa Verde be made in advance?
Italian salsa verde will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge. Drizzle it with more olive oil so the oil is preventing any air reaching the herbs and other ingredients and keep covered.
Can you freeze Italian Salsa Verde?
Yes you can freeze Italian salsa verde for up to 3 months. Again, cover with olive oil to prevent freezer burn to any of the ingredients and spoon into a freezer proof container. You can also use an ice cube tray to make individual portions and simply defrost what you need. When the cubes are frozen you can transfer to a freezer bag.
Products that work well for this recipe
Cole & Mason Mezzaluna / Herb Chopper
Kitchen Essentials Herb Planter
Cole & Mason Herb Keeper
Italian Salsa Verde – the ultimate ‘green sauce’. Herby, salty and briny. Absolutely beautiful with bread dipped in or smothered on fish or meat….
- 1 large bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp capers, drained & finely chopped
- 25g gherkin/pickle, finely chopped
- 6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- juice 2 lemons
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- freshly grated zest from 1 lemon
- Prepare all ingredients as per above directions
- In a small bowl, mix everything together well.
- Enjoy with fresh bread or smeared on top of fish or meat. Yum!
- If you aren’t a fan of anchovies then don’t worry! You don’t taste them too much in the recipe, but they add a lovely saltiness
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Category: Sauce
- Method: No cook
- Cuisine: Italian
- Calories: 150
- Fat: 15g
- Carbohydrates: 2g
- Protein: 4g
Keywords: salsa verde, salsa, italian, sauce, condiment, appetiser, starter, canape, snack