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« A Quick Chinese Meal | Main | Red Onion Rings »

Salsa Verde, for a Taste of Summer

By Jennifer Knapp
A new video for Video Friday

In the summer, the last thing you want to do is spend time in front of a hot stove. So it’s helpful to have a couple of go-to recipes that don’t require any cooking.

Everyone knows that the Italians are famous for inventing pesto; however, Italian salsa verde is another raw herb sauce that you may not be familiar with. Like pesto, it’s easy to prepare, just as flavorful, and doesn’t require any cooking.

Not to be confused with the Mexican sauce of the same name which features tomatillos and cilantro, Italian salsa verde is a lemony purée of assorted fresh herbs such as basil, mint and parsley. For depth of flavor, it also contains capers and anchovy (don’t worry, it doesn’t taste fishy!) and lots of garlic. All of these ingredients are pulsed together in a food processor or blender, and combined with extra-virgin olive oil.

The sauce comes together in a just a few minutes and is quite versatile. It’s especially good with just about anything you can think to throw on the grill, adding a bright citrus-herb counterpoint to the smokiness of grilled beef, chicken, fish or vegetables.

So, purée up this bright green sauce in a matter of minutes and then get outside to finish dinner on the grill. Happy summer eating and cooking!

Italian Salsa Verde

1 bunch fresh mint, leaves only
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves only
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon capers
1 anchovy filet
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 to3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place mint, parsley and basil leaves, garlic, capers, anchovy and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and pulse. With the motor running, drizzle in enough olive oil to give mixture a saucy consistency. (You may need to scrape down contents of bowl after you’ve added half the oil.) Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed.

Serve with grilled beef, chicken, fish or vegetables.

Makes about 1 to 1-1/2 cups sauce.

About Jennifer Knapp
Jennifer Knapp is a San Francisco Bay Area caterer and a teacher at the renowned Tante Marie’s Cooking School. She has lived in the Bay Area for many years, and has worked in several aspects of the food industry, including restaurants, private cheffing and food marketing. Even when she is not working, you can often find her cooking for friends, checking out farmers’ markets and food trucks and discovering great new places to eat! Visit for more information or email Jennifer at

Special Fork is a recipe website for your smartphone and PC that solves the daily dinnertime dilemma: what to cook now! Our bloggers blog Monday through Friday to give you cooking inspiration. Check out our recipe database for quick ideas that take no more than 30 minutes of prep time. Follow us on Facebook , Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Related posts:
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  2. Apricot Jam Captures a Fleeting Taste of Summer
  3. Roasted Herb Chicken with Pistachio Salsa
  4. Beet The Heat Salsa
  5. Grilled Fish with Pineapple Salsa

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