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Italian Salsa Verde

  • 30 m
  • 30 m
John Ash
“Not to be confused with Mexican salsa, this traditional Italian sauce is full of fresh herbs, capers, lemon, garlic and anchovy. It's delicious on all kinds of grilled, pan-seared or roasted meats, fish and vegetables. We blanch the garlic in this version to give the sauce a more subtle flavor, so it's not overpowering.”


    • 6 medium cloves garlic, unpeeled
    • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
    • 4 anchovy fillets
    • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or mint or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
    • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (see Tip)
    • ⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  • 1 Place garlic in a small saucepan and cover with ½ inch of cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water boils, drain, add ½ inch of water to the pan and bring to a boil again. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle. Peel and coarsely chop.
  • 2 Place the garlic, parsley, anchovies, capers, basil (or mint or tarragon) and lemon zest in a food processor or blender. With the motor running, slowly add oil until just blended. The sauce should still have a little texture. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  • Tip: A microplane grater is a great kitchen gadget that seems to be tailor-made for grating citrus zest. It was originally designed to function as a woodworking tool (called a carpenter's rasp). Its razor-sharp edges shave off the zest effortlessly and make it easier to leave the bitter white pith on the fruit. It's the right tool when you want fluffy, very fine citrus zest. Traditional kitchen graters can be used for zesting citrus, too, but they have a tendency to rip and shred the zest, giving a somewhat more clumpy, wet result.
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