Vegetarian Salsa Verde?

Is it at all possible to make salsa verde without the anchovy? I know it wouldn't be quite the same, but is there anything you could substitute for it?

Salsa Verde
Recipe question for: Salsa Verde


latoscana June 13, 2011
Sorry to have misunderstood the intended cuisine - looks like you have some suggested substitutions from the umami playbook. Other Italian sources for that rich flavor profile are mushrooms and olives.
missbellpepper June 13, 2011
Thank you for all of the suggestions! I especially like the idea of the wakame, and I suppose one could use capers as well. Sorry for the confusion of not classifying it as Italian though.
Sam1148 June 13, 2011

What a creative idea subbing wakame for the anchovy.

yes, it's confusing as 'salsa verde' is both mexican and Italian. The Mexican version is tomatillas, peppers, garlic, onions..etc.
The Italian version is parsley, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil. (think a chimichurri sauce).

I hit this same sticking point of naming the other week when researching a recipe for Mexican "Salsa Verde" with tomatillas....and got lots of hits for the Italian version.
(which was used in the excellent summer squash gratin recipe Amanda posted).
IMHO you can just drop the anchovy bit of that.
vvvanessa June 13, 2011
latoscana, i think missbellpepper is talking about italian salsa verde, which is a condiment made with parsely, capers, anchovy, cornichons, and olive oil. it's used as a garnish on all kinds of meats and vegetables.

missbellpepper, i've had salsa verde plenty of times when the anchovy was left out, and i'm talking about both eating it and serving at restaurants where i've worked. i think there is some room for variation-- i've seen versions that vary the herbs, the use of lemon zest and anchovy, and the type of acid.
prettyPeas June 13, 2011
You could make it just leaving the anchovy out, but you'll be missing some saltiness, fishiness, and umami. The simplest would be to just add some salt. To make up for all three of those, you could try adding in a little seaweed (a bit of soaked, finely chopped wakame might work well). Other substitutes for salt+umami include olives or a bit of miso. I have no issues with anchovies, so I haven't tried them in this type of sauce, but I've enjoyed several green goddess dressings made by vegetarian friends with these substitutions.
latoscana June 13, 2011
I haven't heard of anchovy in a salsa. What is the recipe you are trying to make - and how do you plan to use it? I can't think of any reason a salsa verde could not be vegetarian - even vegan.
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