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Italian Salsa Verde

Whenever I need to escape my backyard, I make this sauce. It instantly evokes Italy, especially when spooned over Tuscan Grilled Skirt Steak (try it over this Creamy Polenta!). The sauce is made up of herbs, capers, garlic, shallots and anchovy. Don’t be put off by the anchovy—it adds depth of flavor, but you won’t taste it. The sauce is also fabulous over fish, chicken, eggs, pasta and grain bowls (and I’ve been known to eat it straight with a spoon!).
*This recipe is adapted from my book, The Food Processor Family Cookbook (Sonoma Press, 2016).
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian salsa verde, salsa verde recipe


  • Food processor


  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • ½ small shallot
  • 1 ½ teaspoons drained capers
  • 1 anchovy fillet, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 cup lightly packed parsley (leaves and tender upper stems)
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped walnuts
  • ¼ teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil


  • Plop the garlic and shallot into a mini food processor, and process until finely chopped. Scrape the sides.
  • Add the capers, anchovy, rosemary, thyme, parsley, walnuts and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Process until finely chopped, scraping down the sides occasionally.
  • Add the olive oil and process until incorporated. Taste the sauce—it should be herby but bright. If you need to, add more vinegar, salt and/or pepper. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and let it sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes (or up to 1 hour) to let the flavors meld.


Do Ahead: The salsa verde can be refrigerated for 1 week. Bring it to room temperature before serving.
  • This easy salsa verde gets whipped together in minutes in a food processor. For a chunkier sauce you can finely chop everything with a sharp knife.
  • You can swap out the walnuts for almonds or pine nuts.
  • You can swap out the rosemary and thyme for ½ teaspoon of dried oregano.
  • Try this salsa verde over this Tuscan Grilled Skirt Steak (for the ultimate meal, pile the steak over these Creamy Grits - swoon!!).
  • This recipe is adapted from my first book, The Food Processor Family Cookbook.