Middle Eastern Green Sauce


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    ¾ cup

Appears in

One Good Dish

By David Tanis

Published 2013

  • About

This traditional hot green, herby condiment is served in little jars at my favorite falafel joint in Paris (they serve jars of harissa too)—when they’re in the mood to make it. I always ask for it, but some days it’s simply not there. No point in asking why, all you get is a shrug. A day without green sauce is a sad one, so I came up with my own, which, slathered into a pita with hummus and tomatoes (or a little grilled lamb), tastes mighty authentic. Try it too in non–Middle Eastern ways, on fried eggs and hash browns, or to brighten a Yankee pot roast.


  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • Leaves from 1 small bunch parsley
  • Leaves and tender stems from 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 2 serrano or jalapeño chiles
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 6 scallions
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil


Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a small dry pan over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Coarsely grind in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle.

Coarsely chop the parsley, cilantro, chiles, garlic, and scallions. Pulse with the salt in a food processor or blender until you have a rough puree.

Transfer the herb puree to a bowl and stir in the ground spices and olive oil. This is best the day it is made.