A flavour-packed salsa verde recipe & 4 ways to serve it

peas with salsa verde

I made a very big batch of this tasty green sauce because I had bags of fresh herbs left over from a shoot. This is a fantastic way to preserve fresh herbs and add a big flavour hit to a few basic recipes. Adjust the quantities according to what want to make, and I worked on a ratio of 2 parts parsley to 1 part of both mint and basil.

salsa verdeI was inspired to make this recipe after tasting something similar at the Swartland Revolution in November last year. On Saturday the mothers of the winemakers get together and put on the ‘mom’s lunch’, and it’s always spectacular. They served a similar tasting sauce with their freshly baked focaccia bread, and I loved all the fresh flavours this dip added. They also included finely sliced spring onions (scallions) to their spread, so this is what I did too.peas with salsa verde

new potatoes with salsa verde

garlic bread with salsa verde and parmesan cheeseMy mind went on a tangent and I used this delicious salsa verde in these 4 ways. I wanted to make a few more recipes because the sauce is so versatile, but I ran out of the year and I needed to get on holiday. Some of the other ideas I thought of was to make a zucchini ‘linguini’ and toss the green sauce through that. Or add chopped green olives and stir this through regular pasta as I did with this recipe. I think it would be fabulous with a variety of vegetables and grilled fish too.bread with salsa verde

What I said before about salsa verde:

“You can find similar permutations of this green sauce across a few countries cuisines. The French do a sauce verte, the Spanish a salsa verde, the Mexicans a salsa verde, the Germans a hessina green sauce and the Argentinians a chimichurri. The origin is firmly Italian though, and its classic version is essentially made using parsley, garlic, capers, onions, anchovies, vinegar, mustard and olive oil.”

This version includes basil and mint and I love the huge flavour it delivers. I made a big bowl of the ‘mother sauce’ and then used this as a base in all these recipes, adding a few new things here and there. As you leave it, the flavours from the herbs seep into the olive oil

For the Bread spread – I added a few finely chopped spring onions to the green sauce and loosened it a little with extra olive oil.

Peas with salsa verde and pea shoots

peas with salsa verde

Stir the salsa verde through peas that have been blanched for 3 minutes in boiling water. Garnish with pea shoots if you can find these rare beauties. I made this for our Christmas eve dinner and used a combination of green beans (whole), sugar snap peas, mange tout and peas. Serve this hot or cold as a fabulous side dish with roasted or grilled meat, chicken or fish.

Garlic bread with salsa verde butter and Parmesan cheese

garlic bread with salsa verde and parmesan cheese

To make this bread, I adapted my best-ever garlic bread recipeTake one medium-sized baguette and cut slices into it three-quarters of the way through. Mix 100g of softened (room temperature) butter with 3 crushed garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons of salsa verde and 30g of finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese. Generously spread this between each slice of bread, wrap the loaf in foil and bake in an oven that has been pre heated to 200C for 20 minutes. Open the foil 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time in order to brown it.

New potato salad with salsa verde and spring onions

new potatoes with salsa verde

Stir the salsa verde through hot steamed new potatoes and sprinkle over sliced spring onions for a delicious warm side dish. Allow the potatoes to cool and do the same to make a tasty potato salad. You could also stir through mayonnaise to make it creamier.

4 ways with salsa verde

A recipe for a delicious salsa verde packed with fresh herbs, capers and anchovies.
Print Recipe
peas with salsa verde


  • 2 cups loosely packed Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • 8 - 10 anchovy fillets in oil
  • 2 T capers about 30- 40g drained weight
  • 100 - 125 ml olive oil


  • Process the herbs, anchovies and capers in a food processor until fairly finely chopped up, add the olive oil, until you have the desired consistency. Add more or less depending on how loose you want to make it.
  • The sauce can be stored in the fridge up to 2- 3 weeks
Author: Sam Linsell




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  1. Happy 2014 Sam, hope it is all you want it to be, this sounds lovely and i am sure it would add that special taste to a mixture of veggies

  2. Hi Sam,
    Happy New Year!!
    I love salsa verde and your suggestions are absolutely amazing!

  3. I have been making salsa verde ever since I lived in Italy. It’s a classic with boiled meat over there. I am glad you got to have a holiday. It sounded like you needed one. Happy New Year.

  4. I love salsa verde and I’d happily devour any of these dishes/bites. Happy New Year!

  5. happy NY Laura x

  6. Thanks Lia and a happy NY to you πŸ™‚

  7. Thanks Usha – happy NY to you and hope its filled with joy x

  8. Happy New Year Suzanne and yes, I needed that holiday more than words can say. Struggling to get back into the swing of things though :-/

  9. Rosalia Melaia says:


    I’m italian, and have developed what I think is the very best Salsa Verde recipe ever.

    I spread it on my cooked norwegian salmon, meat, mix it with cream cheese to make a dip, even spread it on sandwiches.

    I hope you like it (PS: my man hates anchovies and capers, and he doesn’t even taste it in this sauce – I don’t even tell him it contains them!)

    Salsa Verde recipe: Rosalia’s edition
    β€’ 1Β½-2 cloves garlic, peeled
    β€’ 1 small handful capers
    β€’ 1 small handful gherkins pickled in sweet vinegar and dill
    β€’ 6 anchovy fillets
    β€’ 2 large handfuls flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
    β€’ 1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked
    β€’ 1 handful fresh mint, leaves picked
    β€’ ΒΌ cup dill
    β€’ 1 tablespoon chives
    β€’ 2 spring onions
    β€’ 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    β€’ 3 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
    β€’ 8 tablespoons really good extra virgin olive oil
    β€’ sea salt
    β€’ freshly ground black pepper
    All it all to a processor and whizz until it forms a smooth thick paste.


  10. Hi Rosalia, that sounds stunning, thank you for sharing.

  11. Your photos are incredible. What are you shooting the food photos on? The color and texture is perfect for the vibrant greens. I’m a verde fan in all shapes and forms, salsa, chimichurri … ok, now I’m hungry. Great ideas for it’s use.

  12. Thanks Purabi πŸ™‚

  13. all four ways sound wonderful. the peas look great!

  14. Ingrid Wilson says:

    Love your beautiful photos which bring back many memories of our trips down to Kenton and Grahamstown via Gariepdam. PS the 4 ways with salsa verde sound good too!

  15. Thanks Ingrid, glad I could take you on a trip down memory lane πŸ™‚

  16. Absolutely beautiful photographs! Wow! And can I just say, I’m such a sucker for garlic bread. That one looks so gobble-worthy!!

  17. Thanks Adrian. Gobble-worth I like. May steal that πŸ™‚

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