A Sauce That Will Rock Your World

As promised, a beautiful green sauce of herbs, capers and olive oil that will rock your world. It could also profoundly enhance your Thanksgiving – or at least your Thanksgiving leftovers – and it’s certainly not too soon to think that. Good gracious, here it is November already!

Herbs in window sill
The last of the summer herbs - and a few flowers - in my New York window sill, obivously gathered before the October snow. Fortunately fresh herbs are available year-round these days.

First referenced in my post from October 29, “A Weekend in the Country,” this “Salsa Verde Italian” comes from Stissing House chef Michel Jean, obliged me by his lovely wife Patricia. Michel served this for Sunday lunch with his renowned roasted baby pig, but it would be delicious on any roasted meat, fowl, fish (yes!), or vegetables. I would even spread it on a toasted baguette with sliced turkey or chicken for a wonderful picnic sandwich or tailgate feast. I bet you’ll have other ideas. Love to hear them.

Michel Jean
Chef Michel Jean, of the Hudson Valley restaurant Stissing House, with his famous roast pig.

Also, the recipe calls for chervil, which is similar to parsley but with a more delicate aroma and flavor. Chervil is not always available, alas; and they almost never have it at the Piggly Wiggly in Tarboro (NC, my home town). So for all recipes that do not pass the Tarboro test, I offer ingredient substitutes: In this case you could substitute with more parsley, or you could try tarragon. Both will alter the flavor somewhat – the tarragon more so than the parsley – but both are good. Suit yourself.

You will see also that anchovies are called for, and if you are one of those anchovy-averse types, get over it. They are a magical element when combined with other ingredients, and if you didn’t know they were there you wouldn’t know they were there – if you know what I mean. Trust me.

Salsa Verde
Suffice to say the flavors are more focused than the photo. Here, a dollop of salsa verde alongside roast pork and polenta.

Salsa Verde Italian

1/8 cup chervil (leaves only)

1/4 cup Italian parsley (leaves only)

1/4 cup mint (leaves only)

1 hard boiled egg

6 cornichons

3 tablespoons capers, non-pareil

6 anchovy filets (oil packed)

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine ingredients in food processor or blender and pulse until chopped but not pureed. Season with freshly ground pepper; the capers and anchovies supply enough salt. I am guessing this would freeze well but haven’t tried it yet. Let me know if you do.


  1. Frances,
    Being from Murfreesboro, N.C. I got a little chuckle thinking about the Piggly Wiggly – there is nothing like Eastern North Carolina! Are you going to T’boro for T’giving? If so,I am sure you will see Farrah Martin- wish him a happy holiday from me…AuntB!
    p.s. can’t wait to try this sauce – thanks for sharing! Love the blog and the Bee Cottage…

  2. Anchovies are found in scattered areas throughout the world’s oceans, but are concentrated in temperate waters, and are rare or absent in very cold or very warm seas. They are generally very accepting of a wide range of temperatures and salinity. Large schools can be found in shallow, brackish areas with muddy bottoms, as in estuaries and bays. They are abundant in the Mediterranean, particularly in the Alboran Sea.’

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