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Italian Salsa Verde

This rustic green sauce will add a wonderful zing to loads of dishes

October 24, 2017

Italian Salsa Verde

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to make about 175ml

salsa verde

15gm finely chopped shallot
4 anchovies
2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and roughly chopped
20gm flat leaf parsley leaves
20gm basil leaves
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
100-120ml quality extra virgin olive oil
white pepper


  1. NOTE: This can be made in a food processor as opposed to mortar and pestle. Follow the same method.
  2. Chop shallot and immerse in cold water whilst preparing other components.
  3. Remove anchovies from salt or oil and rinse under tap.
  4. Remove capers from salt or brine and rinse under tap.
  5. Drain shallots and place in mortar with anchovies and capers. Pound to a paste with pestle.
  6. Chop parsley and basil leaves to the size you prefer. Rough chopped for a chunkier result or finely chopped for a smoother sauce.
  7. Add to mortar and pound briefly to just bruise.
  8. Stir through vinegar.
  9. Using a small flat whisk, work in olive oil to form an emulsion.
  10. Season with a couple of grinds of white pepper (and salt only if needed).

cooks notes

  • This ‘green sauce’ gives a wonderful kick to a meal. Acid from the vinegar and salt from capers and anchovies are important in balancing out flavours. Anchovies give a savoury or Umami taste that is more than simply salt. The fish lends a foundation of flavour without making the sauce taste of seafood. It adds more of a punch than a simple vinaigrette dressing with herbs which, stripped back is what salsa verde is based on.
  • Salsa Verde is an easy-going sauce that is almost infinitely adaptable. Parsley is the base herb so build up from there. Remove the basil and add tarragon to serve with fish or chicken. Thyme with pork or lamb. Mint is good with just about anything or add a good handful of mint to the basil and parsley.
  • Soak chopped shallot immersed in cold water for around 30 minutes (if time permits) to lessen their pungency.
  • Shallots can be replaced with a garlic clove if preferred and result in a different flavour.
  • ½ to 1tsp Dijon mustard can be added for more depth of flavour.
  • Play with lemon juice in place of vinegar (especially when serving as an accompaniment to fish).
  • Quality olive oil is imperative as is vinegar. We used Jingilli EVOO and Anchor vinegar both WA made.

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Meet the team

Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell
Tracey Cotterell


Tracey has been in the food industry since completing her Diploma in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management in 1982 in the UK. She worked for an outside catering company in London, then joined her parents in rural West Sussex running

View Tracey’s full profile.

Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell


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