Salsa Verde

Published July 2003

Why This Recipe Works

This all-purpose green sauce, made from parsley, olive oil, garlic, and vinegar, can be overly potent and harsh, and it separates easily to boot. For a balanced yet still boldly flavored salsa verde recipe that wouldn’t require stirring, we processed chunks of bread with oil and lemon juice—not vinegar—to create a smooth base, then added the remaining ingredients, including anchovies for a touch of complexity (but not fishiness).


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2 slices white sandwich bread
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice from two lemons
4 cups packed flat-leaf parsley leaf, washed and dried thoroughly
4 anchovy fillets
4 tablespoons capers, drained
2 small cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon table salt

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Makes a generous 1 1/2 cups

Two slices of sandwich bread pureed into the sauce keeps the flavors balanced and gives the sauce body. Toasting the bread rids it of excess moisture that might otherwise make for a gummy sauce. Salsa verde is excellent with grilled or roasted meats, fish, or poultry; poached fish; boiled or steamed potatoes; or sliced tomatoes. It's also good on sandwiches. It is best served immediately after it is made but can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two days. If refrigerated, the sauce should be brought to room temperature and stirred to recombine before serving.

1. Toast bread in toaster at lowest setting until surface is dry but not browned, about 15 seconds. Remove crust and cut bread into rough 1/2-inch pieces (you should have about 1 1/2 cups).

2. Process bread pieces, oil, and lemon juice in food processor until smooth, about 10 seconds. Add parsley, anchovies, capers, garlic, and salt. Pulse until mixture is finely chopped (mixture should not be smooth), about five 1-second pulses, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula after 3 pulses. Transfer mixture to small bowl and serve.