5 Ingredients or Fewer

Cal Peternell’s Fried Herb Salsa

November 15, 2016
2 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Makes 1 cup
Author Notes

At virtually all times, Cal Peternell’s 4-ingredient marvel sauce can be within reach—a smart way to dispense with herbs in the crisper, and a last-minute dinner savior in one. Adapted slightly from A Recipe for Cooking (Harper Collins, October 2016). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • Fried Herb Salsa
  • 1 garlic clove, pounded to a paste with a pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1/3 cup crumbled fried herbs (recipe follows)
  • Fried Herbs
  • Cooking oil, vegetable or olive
  • Leaves from 1 bunch rosemary, sage, or savory (or a mixture), patted dry if necessary to avoid spits and splatters
  • Salt
  1. Fried Herb Salsa
  2. Mix everything together, stir, taste, adjust, and spoon all over, especially on roasted, grilled, and braised meats, grilled vegetables, beans, toast even.
  1. Fried Herbs
  2. in a small saucepan or skillet, pour enough oil for the herbs, fried in a few batches, to swim around in, at least 3/4 inch. The oil won’t really be reusable for anything else, unfortunately, since frying herbs makes it bitter, so I try not to use too much. Heat the oil to 325° F or until it is shimmery, not smoking, and a leaf dropped in sizzles enthusiastically, but does not scare you out of the kitchen.
  3. Fry a batch of herb leaves, and when the sizzling has nearly stopped, dip them out and onto paper to drain while you fry the next batch. Sprinkle them with salt and use them right away or refrigerate them, covered tightly; they’ll last at least a week.
  4. * Extra fried herbs can be sprinkled over roasted, grilled, or braised meats; crumbled and tossed with boiled or roasted vegetables, or sprinkled over fried ones; floated on bowls of soup; mixed with fresh garlic and parsley for more salsa! (Fill in the blank with your variation.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Glenn
  • Pam Marshall
    Pam Marshall
  • Kristen Miglore
    Kristen Miglore
  • Daniel Barwick
    Daniel Barwick
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

11 Reviews

Glenn December 12, 2016
Do you recommend cutting the rosemary's leaves in small pieces? Or is it not a benefit to do so?
Kristen M. December 12, 2016
It's easier to fry them and skim them out if you leave them whole, but then you can crumble them up easily to whatever size you like.
Glenn December 12, 2016
Thanks, Kristen! That makes sense.
Daniel B. November 21, 2016
Made this and loved it...frying the herbs was almost as much fun as eating it. :) Added some thyme and was very good.
Kristen M. November 21, 2016
Yes, so fun!
Pam M. November 20, 2016
Could this be mixed into your regular gravy?
Kristen M. November 21, 2016
Cool idea—the oil might make for a slightly broken-looking sauce, but I bet it would be delicious!
Ana B. November 20, 2016
My family does not like rosemary. What can be substituted? Oregano? Thyme? Even cilantro? Please advise. Thank you!
Kristen M. November 20, 2016
Yes, I think absolutely any herb you love (or combo) could work, although the hardier ones like sage, oregano, and thyme tend to hold onto more flavor when cooked than more delicate ones like cilantro and mint.
beth November 20, 2016
How long will the salsa last in the refrigerator? The freezer?
Kristen M. November 20, 2016
In the fridge, this should be used up within a week (because of the botulism risk in storing fresh, unprocessed garlic in oil too long). I haven't tried freezing it but it should freeze well, like pestos do (best used within a few months). The texture of the fried leaves will probably soften but the flavor will be preserved.