Make Ahead

My Favorite Salsa Verde with Orange and Olives

June 29, 2013
3 Ratings
  • Makes a bowlful
Author Notes

I’ve realized that Italian style salsa verde is one of my all time favorite foods. It is versatile, bright and always adds a delicious piquant punch to whatever it touches. A while back, I discovered that I really love orange in my salsa verde, for sweetness, along with buttery green olives. This is especially good with crisp cutlets of pork (or tuna), wild salmon smeared with a mixture of a little Dijon and mayonnaise and then broiled, or a beautifully grilled steak. —gingerroot

What You'll Need
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1 anchovy fillet, chopped
  • 12 Lucques green olives, pitted, chopped to yield about ¼ cup -- can substitute Picholine olives (if using Picholine, may need a few more)
  • 3/4 cup packed Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup packed sweet basil leaves (I used about 20)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped tarragon
  • 6 Tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon(s) orange juice (can use valencia, navel or blood orange)
  • 2 teaspoon(s) orange zest
  • 2 teaspoon(s) sherry vinegar
  • Squeeze of 1 wedge of lemon (plus more to taste if necessary)
  • Sea salt to taste (start with a tiny pinch)
  1. In a mortar or bowl, combine garlic, anchovy, olives, parsley and tarragon. Using a pestle or similar utensil, mash ingredients to combine.
  2. Cut basil into a chiffonade by stacking, rolling and thinly slicing leaves crosswise. Run your knife across the ribbons a few times to finely rough chop. Add to mortar or bowl, immediately followed by 6 T of olive oil to prevent basil from oxidizing. Stir to combine.
  3. Add citrus juices, zest, sherry vinegar and a pinch of sea salt. Stir and adjust seasonings if necessary. Set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld. If making in advance, cover with plastic wrap, pressing wrap down to touch surface of salsa verde and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving, stirring before using.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • EmilyC
  • Midge
  • PRST
  • gingerroot

Recipe by: gingerroot

My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love. Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.

6 Reviews

EmilyC July 2, 2013
I just love this! The orange and olives make so much sense! And then sherry vinegar makes pretty much everything better in my opinion. Really nice twist on a classic.
gingerroot July 3, 2013
Thank you, EmC! I share your sherry vinegar sentiment - it is definitely my favorite vinegar. I just finished off a batch and wish I had more.
Midge July 1, 2013
I can't wait to try this gingerroot. Sounds fantastic.
gingerroot July 3, 2013
Thanks so much, Midge! I'd love to hear your thoughts if you try it.
PRST June 30, 2013
This reads DELICIOUS! I'd be making this today if the ground squirrels and snowshoe hares didn't eat all the herbs in my herb garden.....
gingerroot July 1, 2013
Thanks, PRST! I'm thankful I don't have to worry about furry friends dipping into my raised beds.