Italian salsa verde is loaded with parsley, smooth olive oil, and tons of bold flavor. It’s easy to make and is a delicious sauce for fish. This post is sponsored by Pompeian.
This fresh Italian salsa verde recipe is packed with flavor from fresh parsley, garlic, and anchovy. Plus, it’s ready to enjoy in minutes – no cooking necessary! My favorite way to enjoy it is as a sauce for fish, but it can be used in so many ways.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
What Is Salsa Verde?
Salsa verdes are green sauces that are uncooked and served cold or room temperature. They are easy to make with a short ingredient list that includes fresh herbs, garlic, oil, vinegar, and other flavor components depending on the kind.
The ones that usually come to mind when I hear salsa verde are the Mexican salsa verde I go over below and the Italian version we’re making today. But did you know many cultures have similar green sauces? Think of Fresh Pesto from Italy and Chimichurri Sauce from Argentina too. Delicious!
Mexican vs. Italian Salsa Verde
When I hear the words salsa verde, I think of the Mexican green sauce made of tomatillos. One of my favorites is the Italian salsa verde. It’s not at all like the Mexican version.
The verde in Italian salsa verde doesn’t come from tomatillos, jalapenos, or cilantro. Instead, Italian salsa verde is verde because of parsley. Lots and lots of parsley! It’s the main ingredient.
Making Italian Salsa Verde
You can chop the parsley up by hand or in a food processor. Don’t puree it though. This is not pesto. You want it to still have quite a bit of texture, see:
There sure is a lot of parsley in there. For the small jar of salsa verde in the picture, we used an entire bouquet of flat leaf parsley.
With all that parsley you might be thinking that this sauce is bland. You would be wrong. This sauce has serious power due to a number of strong-flavored ingredients: capers, garlic, onion, anchovy paste, and Dijon mustard. Yes, really. All of those power houses. Italian salsa verde has some delicious stuff going on.
To tie everything together, it’s important to add one more ingredient: olive oil. But not just any olive oil will do. You want a fairly mild olive oil here, nothing too robust or bitter. Why is that? Because of all those strong ingredients I already mentioned. We don’t want a main component of your green sauce to overpower all of that. We want it to enhance those flavors, not battle with them.
Uses For Italian Salsa Verde
So, once you’ve made your Italian salsa verde, loaded with parsley, olive oil, and all those big bold flavors, what do you do with it? You can do all kinds of things with it really.
It’s a fabulous condiment on bread, like spread on a sandwich or as a dip instead of the usual plain olive oil. You can also dip veggies in it.
My favorite though is to serve it with beautifully cooked white fish fillets. Serve the sauce cold and let everyone add it to their fish themselves, on the side or on top. It really makes such a wonderful sauce for fish. I know you’re going to love this Salsa Verde recipe so much.
More Bright Sauces and Condiments
If you love this recipe, you’ll love the fresh sauces and condiments that I’ve linked to below. And, you should definitely check out all of my sauce recipes over here.
Podcast Episode About Making Salsa Verde
Listen to me explain briefly about how make this sauce, along with some other great tips, by clicking the play button below:Print
Italian salsa verde is loaded with parsley, smooth olive oil, and tons of bold flavor. It’s easy to make and is a delicious sauce for fish.
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. anchovy paste
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 2 cups chopped flat leaf parsley leaves (from 1 average-sized bouquet)*
- 1 Tbsp. capers, drained and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. minced onion
- In a medium bowl whisk together the olive oil, anchovy paste, mustard, and salt.
- Add the parsley, capers, garlic, and onion. Stir to combine.
- Taste and add more salt if desired.
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*Instead of chopping all that parsley, you can make this recipe in the food processor. Chop the capers, garlic, and onion first so that they don’t end up staying in big pieces. Then add the parsley leaves and remaining ingredients and pulse a few times. Don’t pulse too many times though. You want it to be pretty coarse, not pureed like pesto.
This post originally appeared in June 2016 and was revised and republished in June 2023.