Salsa Verde

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    3 cups

Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

Recipes for this Italian green sauce vary widely, depending on the source, but the sauce is basically a vinaigrette that is well flavored with herbs and pickled vegetables such as capers and cornichons (sour gherkins). It often contains mustard and anchovies, but these are not essential. Breadcrumbs are sometimes worked into the sauce to give it a thicker texture so that it can be dolloped onto foods at the table. It is excellent with cold boiled meats and grilled foods, especially full-flavored fish such as tuna and mackerel.


garlic cloves, peeled 2 2
fresh flat parsley leaves oz 100 g
fresh basil leaves oz 100 g
extra-virgin olive oil 9 fluid oz 280 ml
capers, drained 3 tbsp 45 ml
cornichons 2 oz 50 g
mustard 1 tbsp 15 ml
wine vinegar ½ cup 125 ml
salt and pepper to taste to taste
breadcrumbs (optional) ¼ to ½ cup 60 to 120 ml


  1. Chop the garlic and crush it into a paste in a mortar or on a cutting board with the side of a knife.
  2. Wash and dry the parsley and basil. Sprinkle the leaves with 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) of the olive oil (to prevent the basil from turning black during chopping). Chop the herbs, capers, and cornichons together until they are the size of large grains of sand.
  3. Put the mixture into the mortar with the garlic (or into a bowl, along with the garlic, if you used a knife to crush the garlic) and stir in the mustard and vinegar.
  4. Gently stir in the remaining cup (250 milliliters) olive oil while working gently with a pestle or wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper. If a thicker vinaigrette is desired, work in breadcrumbs until the appropriate consistency is achieved.


A small amount of xanthan gum (about 1.5 grams) and Ultra-Sperse 3 (about 3.5 grams) can be blended into the sauce to prevent syneresis. You may also want to use a rotor stator homogenizer to create a smoother and better emulsified sauce.