Italian Salsa Verde

June 3, 2013

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

More a condiment then a chip dip this Italian version of a green sauce is brilliant on almost anything, from eggs to meatball subs. My version is not exactly traditional, I am an anchovy lover but in this recipe I left out the anchovies for no other reason then I don't like them in this salsa but add them if you will.


Serves: 1/2 cup plus
Prep time: 2 hrs 20 min


  • 2 teaspoons marjoram, minced
  • 3 tablespoons Italian flat leaf parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic smear
  • 1 tablespoon Fresno pepper, minced or other hot pepper
  • 1 tablespoon capers, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
In This Recipe


  1. To make the garlic smear place your cutting board on a non-skid surface or make it so the board doesn't slide around. Mince the garlic. Sprinkle the garlic with a pinch of salt. The salt is important because it becomes the grit that breaks down the garlic but you don't need more then a pinch. Using the broad side of your knife, apply downward pressure and smear the garlic back and forth to make a paste. Think of an old time barber sharpening a razor on a leather strap, back and forth back and forth until the little chunks become a paste.
  2. Place all the herbs into a bowl or a mortar and using the back of a spoon or a pestle bruise the herbs to break out the oils. Add the lemon juice, capers, Fresno pepper and garlic smear. Finally add the oil and black pepper and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  3. I find it best to let the salsa sit for an hour before I want to use it. Stored in the fridge it is good for a day or two but make sure to bring it to room temperature before serving.

More Great Recipes:
Condiment/Spread|Salsa|Italian|Capers|Lemon Juice|Vegetable|No-Cook|Make Ahead|Gluten-Free|Vegetarian|Vegan|Side

Reviews (5) Questions (0)

5 Reviews

Gcvlee August 4, 2017
This salsa was really pretty good. Don't over think the garlic. Mince it, sprinkle salt on it and with the side of your knife (add pressure with your other hand) just press and crush with a few passes to purée. I made it as is (I'll add anchovy next time) and served it over simply roasted lemon sole. Really bright and good. Try it!
P N. August 27, 2016
I tried to save the recipe through green print, the ingredient list disappears for some reason, I just thought I would pass that on.<br />This sounds like a wonderful recipe.
Christel July 14, 2013
What is a garlic smear please?
susan G. July 15, 2013
Directions for the garlic smear are in step one of the recipe.
susan G. June 5, 2013
How about a video of 'garlic smear?!'