Every year when my herb garden is overflowing with fresh herbs I start making a multitude of different toppings and sauces for my weeknight menu’s. I also dry my herbs for use in soups and stews or to marinate feta cheese. I’ll get that feta cheese recipe posted soon!
One of the sauces I love to prepare is an Italian Salsa Verde. This is a versatile sauce that can be used over fish, chicken, beef and even pork. And even better, it’s a great dipping sauce for a veggie crudite platter or for skewered grilled meats and veggies. I love it when I can get mulitple uses out of one sauce! Whoo Hoo!
Italian salsa verde is similar to a South American chimichurri sauce and a pesto, but just a little different. Just like a chimichurri sauce or a pesto, Italian salsa verde recipes vary from region to region or from family to family. Many recipes of Italian salsa verde are simply prepared with only Italian parsley, which is delicious. However, I like to include additional herbs such as basil, rosemary and sometimes oregano.
Remember, this is a versatile recipe that can prepared to your personal tastes. Feel free to alter and substitute the herbs to create your perfect Italian salsa verde!
Mixed Herb Italian Salsa Verde
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon capers, drained, rinsed and chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Pinch of red pepper
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Place all the herbs, capers, lemon zest, lemon juice, anchovies, vinegar, and pinch of red pepper in a food processor. Pulse to combine.
Add the olive oil and pulse until the salsa verde is completely combined. This salsa doesn’t need to be smooth like a pesto or chimichurri, but a little more salsa like. Last, add the pine nuts and just give it a quick pulse to combine but not puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle over seared sea scallops, grilled, pan seared or roasted fish and meats. Or use as a Bruschetta for Crostini or a dipping sauce for a crudités platter.
To Sear Sea Scallops: If using olive oil do not let it smoke, heat over medium heat only. If you’d like the oil hot for a good sear, use a high heat refined oil such as a sunflower or safflower oil. Spectrum brand Organic oils is an excellent choice.
Heat on medium high a large skillet or wok with a high heat oil. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. When the oil just begins to smoke a little, add the scallops to the skillet. Turn the heat down to medium and let the scallops sear for about 2- minutes on each side, depending on thickness, forming a nice golden brown crust. The scallop will turn easily when it’s done.
Transfer scallops to plates or a platter and then top with the Italian Salsa Verde. Serve immediately.