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.

peas with salsa verde

new potatoes with salsa verde

garlic bread with salsa verde and parmesan cheese

I was inspired to make this recipe after tasting something similar at the Swartland Revolution in November last year. On the Saturday the mothers of the winemakers get together and put on the ‘mom’s lunch’, and its always spectacular. They served a similar tasting sauce with their freshly baked foccacia 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.

bread with salsa verde

My 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 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 like I did with this recipe. I think it would be fabulous with a variety of vegetables and grilled fish too.

What I said before about salsa verde:

“You can find similar permutations of this green sauce across a few countries cuisine’s. 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 flavors 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.


So on this note, I wish you all a very happy new year and hope its packed with adventure and deliciousness. I for one have so much happening over the next few months, but I’m hoping to be able to add at least a recipe a week.

I landed up taking a last-minute and very much-needed holiday to our family beach house in Kenton on Sea. I drove down from Joburg after flying up for what was planned as a short Christmas break. We spent the night at a delightful guest house called Prior Grange which is on a sheep farm, just outside Springfontein. Then headed down to Kenton. It was a blissful week in a very beautiful part of South Africa, and I feel quite restored and ready to tackle 2014.

Here are a few of my Instagrams from the last month:

on the road through the Karoo

sunset at Prior Grange, Springfontein

a windmill on the farm

a sheep farm - Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

an old world butchery in Steynsburg

A perfect day on the beach in Kenton on Se

moss on the rocks

a calssic sunset over the Bushmans River


4 ways with salsa verde


  • 2 cups loosely packed Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • 810 anchovy fillets (in oil)
  • 2T capers (about 3040g drained weight)
  • 100125ml olive oil


  1. 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.
  2. The sauce can be stored in the fridge up to 2- 3 weeks

Keywords: salsa verde, recipe

Bushman's River mouthwith g3 preset

rock formations on the beach

kenton on sea

I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.

Visit my Drizzle and Dip Facebook page to get updates of all my posts.

I can also be found enthusiastically pinning beautiful food images on Pinterest, and snapping pics of my life in Cape Town and what I eat on Instagram



  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. Sam

    Thanks Lia and a happy NY to you 🙂

  5. Sam

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

  6. Sam

    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 :-/

  7. Rosalia Melaia


    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
    • 1½-2 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 1 small handful capers
    • 1 small handful gherkins pickled in sweet vinegar and dill
    • 6 anchovy fillets
    • 2 large handfuls flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
    • 1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked
    • 1 handful fresh mint, leaves picked
    • ¼ cup dill
    • 1 tablespoon chives
    • 2 spring onions
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 3 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
    • 8 tablespoons really good extra virgin olive oil
    • sea salt
    • freshly ground black pepper
    All it all to a processor and whizz until it forms a smooth thick paste.


  8. Sam

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

  9. 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.

  10. Ingrid Wilson

    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!

  11. Sam

    Thanks Ingrid, glad I could take you on a trip down memory lane 🙂

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

  13. Sam

    Thanks Adrian. Gobble-worth I like. May steal that 🙂

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